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 December 12, 2018 following an execution in Texas.
Race of Defendants Executed in the U.S. Since 1976
Race Number Percentage
Black 509 34.5%
Latino 126 8.3%
White 830 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 153 6.9%
White 1649 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 (290)

 

Executions for Interracial Murders

Current U.S. Death Row Population by Race
Race Number Percentage
Black 1135 41.38%
Latino 368 13.42%
White 1153 42.03%
Other 82 2.99%

Death Row Population Figures from NAACP-LDF "Death Row USA (July 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 185 97 85 2 0 1 0
Arizona 121 18 71 25 4 3 0
Arkansas 31 17 13 1 0 0 0
California 740 267 245 189 10 29 0
Colorado 3 3 0 0 0 0 0
Florida 353 135 190 25 1 2 0
Georgia 56 30 23 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 32 5 27 0 0 0 0
Louisiana 71 47 20 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 12 3 4 5 0 0 0
Nevada 75 27 36 10 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 144 80 59 3 0 2 0
Oklahoma 49 22 22 2 3 0 0
Oregon* 33 2 26 3 1 0 1
Pennsylvania 160 86 57 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 232 99 62 66 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 63 26 28 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 2,738 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, 2018)"