The latest edition of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s “Death Row USA” shows that the number of people on the death row in the United States is continuing to decline, falling to 3,370 as of April 1, 2006. The size of death row increased every year between 1976 and 2000, but since then it has been in a slow decline.

According to the report, the states with the largest decrease in death row population since January 1, 2006 are Texas (down by 5) and South Carolina (down by 3). California continues to have the nation’s largest death row population (652), followed by Texas (404), Florida (392), Pennsylvania (232), and Ohio (195).

Nationally, the racial composition of those on death row is 45% white, 42% black, and 10% latino/latina. Of jurisdictions with more than 10 people on death row, Texas (69%) and Pennsylvania (69%) continue to have the largest percentage of minorites on death row. Nearly 80% of the victims in crimes that resulted in executions were white.

Death Row USA is published quarterly by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The report contains the latest death row population figures, execution statistics, and an overview of the most recent legal developments related to capital punishment. These death row statistics may differ slightly from those compiled by the Bureau of Justice Statistics because of a difference in methodologies.

See Death Row USA, April 1, 2006. See also DPIC’s Death Row.