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 March 1, 2019 following an execution in Texas.
Race of Defendants Executed in the U.S. Since 1976
Race Number Percentage
Black 511 34.5%
Latino 127 8.3%
White 831 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 335 15.3%
Latino 153 6.9%
White 1653 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 1130 41.53%
Latino 366 13.45%
White 1144 42.04%
Other 82 2.97%

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

 


Current Death Row Populations by Race
as of October 1, 2018


State Total Black White Latino Native Amer. Asian Unknown
Alabama 182 94 85 2 0 1 0
Arizona 121 18 71 25 4 3 0
Arkansas 32 17 14 1 0 0 0
California 740 267 245 189 10 29 0
Colorado 3 3 0 0 0 0 0
Florida 354 134 193 24 1 2 0
Georgia 56 30 23 3 0 0 0
Idaho 9 0 9 0 0 0 0
Indiana 11 3 8 0 0 0 0
Kansas 10 3 7 0 0 0 0
Kentucky 31 5 26 0 0 0 0
Louisiana 70 46 20 3 0 1 0
Mississippi 46 25 19 1 0 1 0
Missouri 25 7 18 0 0 0 0
Montana 2 0 2 0 0 0 0
Nebraska 12 3 3 6 0 0 0
Nevada 76 28 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 143 76 54 5 7 1 0
Ohio 142 80 57 3 0 2 0
Oklahoma 48 22 21 2 3 0 0
Oregon* 33 2 26 3 1 0 1
Pennsylvania 158 85 56 14 0 3 0
South Carolina 39 21 17 1 0 0 0
South Dakota 3 0 3 0 0 0 0
Tennessee 61 29 29 1 0 2 0
Texas 228 98 62 64 0 4 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 62 26 27 7 1 1 0
US Military 4 2 2 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 (October 1, 2018)"