NEW RESOURCES: “Death Penalty for Female Offenders”

A new report by Victor Streib, Professor of Law at Ohio Northern University, highlights trends in the death penalty regarding female offenders. The report shows that the death penalty in the United States is rarely imposed on women. Of the approximately 8,200 death sentences that have been imposed across the U.S. since 1973, less than 2% have been imposed on female defendants (167 out of 8,292, at the time of the report’s publication). Additionally, only 1% of executions in the modern era (since 1976) have been of women (12 out of 1232). The report also shows that over 50% of women currently on death row were convicted of killing a close family member.  Most women were convicted of killing their husbands or boyfriends, or children close to them. Finally, the study observed that the execution of women accounted for only 0.6% of all executions since the 1900s. When compared to earlier eras in American history, this data indicates that the practice of executing women is rarer than in previous centuries.  Click here for full report.

(V. Streib, "Death Penalty for Female Offenders," Ohio Northern University, November 3, 2010).  See Women.