Death Penalty Census Database

The Death Penalty Census dis­plays death sen­tences imposed between the Supreme Court’s issuance of the Furman v. Georgia rul­ing in 1972 and January 12021.

Each row in the data­base below rep­re­sents a death sen­tence. You can search death sen­tences by the name of the defen­dant sen­tenced or fil­ter the sen­tences in var­i­ous ways. For help­ful tips on search­ing, scroll below the data­base table.

Because of the com­plex legal process­es involved in death-penal­ty cas­es, we encour­age you to review the Death Penalty Census Codebook, which pro­vides an in-depth expla­na­tion of how to inter­pret sen­tenc­ing infor­ma­tion in the database. 

Our goal is for the Death Penalty Census to be as accu­rate and com­pre­hen­sive as pos­si­ble, and we wel­come any addi­tions or cor­rec­tions. To cor­rect an error or pro­vide miss­ing infor­ma­tion, please noti­fy us by email and send doc­u­men­ta­tion of the cor­rect infor­ma­tion to [email protected]​deathpenaltyinfo.​org.

Tips for search­ing the Death Penalty Census Database 

Search by Name: The default name search will attempt to find a per­son whose name or known alias­es include the name parts that you pro­vide. For exam­ple, search­ing for Jr. will return every­one that has the name suf­fix Jr. or oth­er name part that includes jr’. Searching for J Beard will return both James David Beard’ and Donald J. Beardslee’. You can also require a high­er pre­ci­sion match by sur­round­ing the query in quo­ta­tion marks. For exam­ple, search­ing James Beard” would only return James David Beard’ (as would search­ing James David Beard”). Searching William Williams” will only return William Williams,’ but search­ing William Williams (with­out quo­ta­tion marks) will return any­one whose name includes Williams’ because William is includ­ed in Williams so the name Williams’ is suf­fi­cient to sat­is­fy both por­tions of the request. 

You can also increase pre­ci­sion on a spe­cif­ic part of your search. Therefore, search­ing J Beard” will still return James David Beard’ and no oth­er results, and using William” Williams will also only return William Williams’ because William’ will no longer be con­sid­ered a match for Williams’.

Name search is not case-sensitive.

Aliases: If a defen­dant has legal­ly changed their name, their cur­rent name is dis­played in the search results. Hovering over a defendant’s name will show the name under which the defen­dant was tried. Searching for the defendant’s for­mer name will return their results. For instance, search­ing for Bridgeman returns both Wiley Bridgeman and Kwame Ajamu, who was tried under the name Ronnie Bridgeman.

Note that search­es using quo­ta­tion marks will not search aliases.

Search Filters: The search fil­ters pro­vide options to nar­row your search para­me­ters. Note that an entry will be con­sid­ered a match if any of the options you select are matched. Selecting Black’ and White’ under the Race fil­ter will return all defen­dants who are either Black or white.

When using the Region fil­ter, all fed­er­al sen­tences will be includ­ed with the region in which their fed­er­al dis­trict is locat­ed. Military sen­tences will not be includ­ed as those are not con­strained geo­graph­i­cal­ly. Rather, mil­i­tary sen­tences are cat­e­go­rized by the branch of the mil­i­tary in which they were imposed.

The Jurisdiction Type fil­ter will allow you to nar­row your results to just State”, Federal”, and U.S. Military.” You can com­bine this fil­ter with the Region fil­ter to find only sen­tences imposed by states in the south, for example.

Note about the Multi-Sentence Identifier

Perhaps the most com­pli­cat­ed infor­ma­tion to con­vey is how a death sen­tence relates to oth­er death sen­tences imposed on the same defen­dant. The Multi-Sentence Identifier field is used to describe cir­cum­stances in which an indi­vid­ual was sen­tenced to death more than once. The field iden­ti­fies 1) cas­es in which a defen­dant was sen­tenced and resen­tenced to death in a sin­gle crim­i­nal pro­ceed­ing and 2) instances in which the same defen­dant was sen­tenced to death in mul­ti­ple unre­lat­ed pro­ceed­ings. This field is left blank when a list­ed sen­tence is the only death sen­tence imposed on the defendant.

The num­ber before the peri­od rep­re­sents the case, or the pro­ceed­ing against the defen­dant for a spe­cif­ic crim­i­nal act (or set of crim­i­nal acts if those acts were all tried in a sin­gle pro­ceed­ing by the pros­e­cut­ing author­i­ty). The num­ber after the peri­od rep­re­sents the suc­ces­sion of death sen­tences in a case.

For more infor­ma­tion on the Multi-Sentence Identifier, includ­ing exam­ple cas­es, please see the Death Penalty Census code­book.