Executions Overview

Executions by Race and Race of Victim

"In 82% of the studies [reviewed], race of the victim was found to influence the likelihood of being charged with capital murder or receiving the death penalty, i.e., those who murdered whites were found more likely to be sentenced to death than those who murdered blacks."

– United States General Accounting Office, Death Penalty Sentencing, February 1990

Race of Defendants Executed in the U.S. Since 1976 


NOTE: The federal government counts some categories, such as Hispanics, as an ethnic group rather than a race. DPIC refers to all groups as races because the sources for much of our information use these categories.


Race of Victims Since 1976


NOTE: Number of Victims refers to the victims in the underlying murder in cases where an execution has occurred since the restoration of the death penalty in 1976. There are more victims than executions because some cases involve more than one victim.

Race of Victim figures are from the NAACP-LDF’s report “Death Row USA” (As of July 1, 2022).

Persons Executed for Interracial Murders in the U.S. Since 1976

The cases represented here are cases of one defendant executed for the murder of one or more victims of one race. Cases involving multiple victims of several different races are not included here.

White Defendant / Black Victim (21)

Black Defendant / White Victim (299)