Women

Women's Death Sentences Since 1973: Number and Geography

DEATH SENTENCES IMPOSED UPON FEMALE OFFENDERS, 1973 - 2018

Between 1973 and 2018, 184 death sentences were imposed upon female offenders. These sentences constitute about 2% of all death sentences.

Year Total Death Sentences* Female Death Sentences Portion of Total
1973 42 1 2.4%
1974 149 1 0.7%
1975 298 8 2.3%
1976 233 3 1.3%
1977 137 1 0.7%
1978 185 4 2.1%
1979 151 4 2.6%
1980 173 2 1.1%
1981 224 3 1.3%
1982 265 5 1.8%
1983 252 4 1.6%
1984 285 8 2.8%
1985 266 5 1.8%
1986 300 3 1.0%
1987 289 5 1.7%
1988 290 5 1.7%
1989 259 11 4.2%
1990 252 7 2.7%
1991 267 6 2.2%
1992 287 10 3.5%
1993 289 6 2.0%
1994 315 5 1.6%
1995 318 7 2.2%
1996 320 2 0.6%
1997 276 2 0.7%
1998 300 7 2.3%
1999 279 5 1.8%
2000 231 7 3.1%
2001 163 2 1.3%
2002 159 5 3.2%
2003 144 2 1.4%
2004 125 5 4.0%
2005 128 5 3.9%
2006 115 4 3.5%
2007 115 1 1.8%
2008 111 3 2.7%
2009 106 2 1.9%
2010 112 2 1.8%
2011 76 5 6.6%
2012 78 3 3.8%
2013 80 0 0%
2014 73 0 0%
2015 49 3 6.1%
2016 30 0 0%
2017 39 3 7.7%
20184200%
Totals: 8,688 184 2.1%

As of 12/31/2018. Data through 12/31/12 taken from “Death Penalty For Female Offenders, January 1973 through December 31, 2012” by Victor L. Streib, Professor of Law at Ohio Northern University College of Law. (Please see the full-text of the report for more details.) Updates and periodic annotations by DPIC.

STATE BREAKDOWN OF DEATH SENTENCES FOR FEMALES 1973-2018

The 184 death sentences for female offenders were imposed in 26 states and by the federal government, comprising two-thirds of the 39 death penalty jurisdictions during this time period. Five states (California, Florida, Texas, North Carolina, and Alabama) accounted for more than half of all such sentences.

Rank Sentencing State Race of Offender Total Female Sentences
White Black Latina Native Amer. / Asian
1 California 12 4 7 3 26
2 Florida 13 5 3 0 21
3 Texas 12 7 1 0 20
4 North Carolina 10 4 0 2 16
5 Alabama 9 4 0 0 13
6 Ohio 6 6 0 0 12
7 Mississippi 7 2 0 0 9
8 Oklahoma 7 1 0 0 8
9 Illinois 1 4 2 0 7
10 Pennsylvania 3 4 0 0 7
11 Georgia 5 1 0 0 6
12 Missouri 4 0 1 0 5
13 Arizona 5 0 0 0 5
14 Indiana 2 2 0 0 4
15 Kentucky 3 0 0 0 3
16 Louisiana 2 1 0 0 3
17 Maryland 1 0 0 2 3
18 New Jersey 3 0 0 0 3
19 Arkansas 2 0 0 0 2
20 Idaho 2 0 0 0 2
21 Nevada 1 1 0 0 2
22 Tennessee 2 0 0 0 2
23 Federal 2 0 0 0 2
24 Delaware 1 0 0 0 1
25 Oregon 1 0 0 0 1
26 South Carolina 1 0 0 0 1
27 Virginia 1 0 0 0 1
Totals 117 46 14 7 184

Taken from “Death Penalty For Female Offenders, January 1973 through December 31, 2012 [PDF]” by Victor L. Streib, Professor of Law at Ohio Northern University College of Law, with periodic annotations by DPIC (Please see the full-text of the report for more details.)