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 October 20, 2017 following an execution in Alabama.
Race of Defendants Executed in the U.S. Since 1976
BLACK 504 34.5%
LATINO 120 8.3%
WHITE 816 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 329 15.3%
LATINO 149 6.9%
WHITE 1624 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 1184 41.65%
LATINO 375 13.19%
WHITE 1205 42.38%
OTHER 79 2.78%

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

 


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


State Total Black White Latino Native Amer. Asian Unknown
Alabama 193 102 88 2 0 1 0
Arizona 124 16 75 27 3 3 0
Arkansas 36 20 15 1 0 0 0
California 744 269 249 188 9 29 0
Colorado 3 3 0 0 0 0 0
Delaware 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Florida 386 148 206 29 1 2 0
Georgia 62 32 27 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 75 50 21 3 0 1 0
Mississippi 49 26 21 1 0 1 0
Missouri 25 9 16 0 0 0 0
Montana 2 0 2 0 0 0 0
Nebraska 10 2 3 5 0 0 0
Nevada 81 31 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 154 79 62 5 7 1 0
Ohio 143 78 60 3 0 2 0
Oklahoma 47 21 22 2 2 0 0
Oregon* 33 2 26 3 1 0 1
Pennsylvania 169 89 62 15 0 3 0
South Carolina 42 23 18 1 0 0 0
South Dakota 3 0 3 0 0 0 0
Tennessee 62 29 30 1 0 2 0
Texas 247 109 65 68 0 5 0
Utah 9 1 5 2 1 0 0
Virginia 6 3 4 0 0 0 0
Washington 8 4 5 0 0 0 0
Wyoming 1 0 1 0 0 0 0
US Gov’t 62 27 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 2,843 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, 2017)"