Race of Death Row Inmates Executed Since 1976

National Statistics on the Death Penalty and Race

Death Row Populations by Race


National Statistics on the Death Penalty and Race


Execution information accurate as of November 9, 2017 following an execution in Texas.
Race of Defendants Executed in the U.S. Since 1976
BLACK 503 34.5%
LATINO 122 8.3%
WHITE 816 55.6%
OTHER 24 1.6%

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 chart 1

Race of Victims Since 1976
BLACK 329 15.3%
LATINO 150 6.9%
WHITE 1626 75.6%
OTHER 45 2.1%


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 up to 7/1/2016 from NAACP-LDF "Death Row USA (July 1, 2016)" in addition to DPIC data.

 

 race chart 2

"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
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 (20)



  Black Defendant / White Victim (288)

 

Executions for Interracial Murders

Current U.S. Death Row Population by Race
BLACK 1168 41.48%
LATINO 373 13.24%
WHITE 1196 42.46%
OTHER 80 2.84%

Death Row Population Figures from NAACP-LDF "Death Row USA (July 1, 2017)"
race chart 3

 


Current Death Row Populations by Race
as of July 1, 2017


State Total Black White Latino Native Amer. Asian Unknown
Alabama 191 101 87 2 0 1 0
Arizona 125 17 75 27 3 3 0
Arkansas 32 17 14 1 0 0 0
California 746 270 249 188 10 29 0
Colorado 3 3 0 0 0 0 0
Florida 374 142 202 27 1 2 0
Georgia 61 32 26 3 0 0 0
Idaho 8 0 8 0 0 0 0
Indiana 12 3 9 0 0 0 0
Kansas 10 3 7 0 0 0 0
Kentucky 33 5 28 0 0 0 0
Louisiana 73 48 21 3 0 1 0
Mississippi 48 25 21 1 0 1 0
Missouri 24 8 16 0 0 0 0
Montana 2 0 2 0 0 0 0
Nebraska 11 3 3 5 0 0 0
Nevada 82 30 40 10 0 2 0
New Hampshire 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
New Mexico 2 0 2 0 0 0 0
North Carolina 152 78 61 5 7 1 0
Ohio 144 79 60 3 0 2 0
Oklahoma 47 21 22 2 2 0 0
Oregon* 33 2 26 3 1 0 1
Pennsylvania 169 90 61 15 0 3 0
South Carolina 41 22 18 1 0 0 0
South Dakota 3 0 3 0 0 0 0
Tennessee 62 29 30 1 0 2 0
Texas 243 106 65 67 0 5 0
Utah 9 1 5 2 1 0 0
Virginia 5 2 3 0 0 0 0
Washington 8 3 5 0 0 0 0
Wyoming 1 0 1 0 0 0 0
US Gov’t 61 26 26 7 1 1 0
US Military 5 2 3 0 0 0 0

* One member of Death Row's race is not currently identified

(In this table, the total of inmates on death row will be slightly higher than the national total of 2,817 because some inmates were sentenced to death in more than one state and hence will be counted twice.)

Figures from NAACP-LDF "Death Row USA (July 1, 2017)"