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 July 28, 2017 following an execution in Texas.
Race of Defendants Executed in the U.S. Since 1976
BLACK 503 34.5%
LATINO 120 8.3%
WHITE 812 55.6%
OTHER 23 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 327 15.3%
LATINO 149 6.9%
WHITE 1618 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 (287)

 

Executions for Interracial Murders

Current U.S. Death Row Population by Race
BLACK 1215 41.87%
LATINO 380 13.09%
WHITE 1226 42.25%
OTHER 81 2.79%

Death Row Population Figures from NAACP-LDF "Death Row USA (October 1, 2016)"
race chart 3

 


Current Death Row Populations by Race
as of October 1, 2016


State Total Black White Latino Native Amer. Asian Unknown
Alabama 194 103 88 2 0 1 0
Arizona 125 16 75 28 3 3 0
Arkansas 36 20 16 0 0 0 0
California 745 270 250 185 11 29 0
Colorado 3 3 0 0 0 0 0
Delaware 17 10 4 3 0 0 0
Florida 395 153 208 31 1 2 0
Georgia 67 34 30 3 0 0 0
Idaho 9 0 9 0 0 0 0
Indiana 12 3 9 0 0 0 0
Kansas 10 3 7 0 0 0 0
Kentucky 34 6 28 0 0 0 0
Louisiana 76 50 22 3 0 1 0
Mississippi 48 26 21 0 0 1 0
Missouri 26 9 17 0 0 0 0
Montana 2 0 2 0 0 0 0
Nebraska 10 2 3 5 0 0 0
Nevada 80 30 39 9 0 2 0
New Hampshire 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
New Mexico 2 0 2 0 0 0 0
North Carolina 155 80 62 5 7 1 0
Ohio 142 76 61 3 0 2 0
Oklahoma 48 21 23 2 2 0 0
Oregon* 34 3 26 3 1 0 1
Pennsylvania 175 94 63 16 0 2 0
South Carolina 41 22 18 1 0 0 0
South Dakota 3 0 3 0 0 0 0
Tennessee 68 33 32 1 0 2 0
Texas 254 109 68 71 0 6 0
Utah 9 1 5 2 1 0 0
Virginia 7 3 4 0 0 0 0
Washington 9 4 5 0 0 0 0
Wyoming 1 0 1 0 0 0 0
US Gov’t 62 28 25 7 1 1 0
US Military 6 3 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 2,902 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 (October 1, 2016)"