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 September 28, 2018 following an execution in Texas.
Race of Defendants Executed in the U.S. Since 1976
Race Number Percentage
Black 508 34.5%
Latino 124 8.3%
White 827 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
Race Number Percentage
Black 333 15.3%
Latino 150 6.9%
White 1643 75.6%
Other 46 2.3%


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 4/1/2018 from NAACP-LDF "Death Row USA (April 1, 2018)" 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 (289)

 

Executions for Interracial Murders

Current U.S. Death Row Population by Race
Race Number Percentage
Black 1143 41.67%
Latino 366 13.34%
White 1153 42.03%
Other 81 2.95%

Death Row Population Figures from NAACP-LDF "Death Row USA (June 1, 2018)"
race chart 3

 


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


State Total Black White Latino Native Amer. Asian Unknown
Alabama 188 99 86 2 0 1 0
Arizona 121 17 72 25 4 3 0
Arkansas 31 17 13 1 0 0 0
California 740 267 246 188 10 29 0
Colorado 3 3 0 0 0 0 0
Florida 354 137 190 24 1 2 0
Georgia 58 31 24 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 33 5 28 0 0 0 0
Louisiana 70 47 19 3 0 1 0
Mississippi 47 24 21 1 0 1 0
Missouri 25 7 18 0 0 0 0
Montana 2 0 2 0 0 0 0
Nebraska 11 3 3 5 0 0 0
Nevada 77 27 37 11 0 2 0
New Hampshire 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
New Mexico 2 0 2 0 0 0 0
North Carolina 144 76 55 5 7 1 0
Ohio 141 79 57 3 0 2 0
Oklahoma 49 23 22 2 2 0 0
Oregon* 33 2 26 3 1 0 1
Pennsylvania 160 87 56 14 0 3 0
South Carolina 39 21 17 1 0 0 0
South Dakota 3 0 3 0 0 0 0
Tennessee 62 29 30 1 0 2 0
Texas 235 102 63 65 0 5 0
Utah 9 1 5 2 1 0 0
Virginia 3 2 1 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 2,743 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 (April 1, 2018)"