Death Row

RESOURCES: DEATH ROW USA Fall 2006 Now Available - Florida Surpasses Texas

The latest edition of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund's "Death Row, USA" reports that the number of people on death row in the United States has continued to decline, falling to 3,344 as of October 1, 2006. The size of death row has been declining since 2000 after 25 years of steady increases. For the first time in many years, Florida (398) surpassed Texas (392) in the size of its deathrow. California (657) continued to have the largest death row.

NEW RESOURCES: Bureau of Justice Statistics Releases Capital Punishment, 2005

The Bureau of Justice Statistics has just released the 2005 version of its annual report on the death penalty in the U.S. The report notes that both the number of death sentences and the size of death row were down for 2005, and that this represents a trend over the past 5 years. The report states that there were 60 executions in 2005, all by lethal injection, and that the time between sentencing and execution was longer in 2005 than in 2004.

RESOURCES: DEATH ROW USA Summer 2006 Now Available

The latest edition of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund's "Death Row USA" shows that the number of people on the death row in the United States is continuing to decline, falling to 3,366 as of July 1, 2006. The size of death row increased every year between 1976 and 2000, but since then it has been in a slow decline.

Nationally, the racial composition of those on death row is 45% white, 42% black, and 11% latino/latina. Of jurisdictions with more than 10 people on death row, Texas (69%) and Pennsylvania (70%) continue to have the largest percentage of minorites on death row. Nearly 80% of the victims in crimes that resulted in executions were white.

California, with 657 inmates, and Texas, with 401 inmates, have the largest death row populations in the country. New Hampshire has no one on death row.

BOOKS: Reflective Glass by G. Wilford Hathorn

"Reflective Glass" is a new book by death row inmate G. Wilford Hathorn.  The book is a collection of fifteen essays that deal with life on Texas' death row from a prisoner's perspective. The essays describe many aspects of death row life: the pain of losing friends through execution, the medical treatment of prisoners, the monotony of living in a tiny cell, and the interaction with guards.

RESOURCES: Death Row USA Spring 2006 Report Available

The latest edition of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund's "Death Row USA" shows that the number of people on the death row in the United States is continuing to decline, falling to 3,370 as of April 1, 2006. The size of death row increased every year between 1976 and 2000, but since then it has been in a slow decline.

According to the report, the states with the largest decrease in death row population since January 1, 2006 are Texas (down by 5) and South Carolina (down by 3). California continues to have the nation's largest death row population (652), followed by Texas (404), Florida (392), Pennsylvania (232), and Ohio (195).

Nationally, the racial composition of those on death row is 45% white, 42% black, and 10% latino/latina. Of jurisdictions with more than 10 people on death row, Texas (69%) and Pennsylvania (69%) continue to have the largest percentage of minorites on death row. Nearly 80% of the victims in crimes that resulted in executions were white.

RESOURCES: Death Row USA Winter 2006 Report Available

The latest edition of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund's Death Row USA shows an 8% decline in the country's death row population during the past 5 years, down from 3,652 in 2000 to 3,373 at the end of 2005. According to the report, California continues to have the nation's largest death row population (649), followed by Texas (409), Florida (388), Pennsylvania (231), and Ohio (196).

RESOURCE: Fall 2005 Death Row USA Available

The latest edition of Death Row USA from the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund is now available. The report reveals that the number of people on death rows across the country dropped by almost 90 inmates from one year ago. There were 3,471 inmates on death row as of October 1, 2004. In 2005, the death row population had shrunk to 3,383. California's death row remains the largest in the country with 648 people, followed by Texas (414), Florida (388), and Pennsylvania (233). The report also reveals that of those jurisdictions having more than 10 people on death row, the highest percentage of minorities are in Pennsylvania (70%) and Texas (69%).

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Size of Death Row Continues to Decline

According to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund's quarterly report, Death Row U.S.A., the number of people on death rows around the country declined again as of July 1, 2005.  The latest count of inmates is 3,415, down from 3,452 as of April 1 and down considerably from the 3,692 inmates recorded on October 1, 2002.  About 54.5% of those on death row are members of racial minorities.  Pennsylvania (70%) and Texas (69%) had the largest percentage of minority defendants on death row.

Among the states with largest declines were Texas (-27), North Carolina (-5) and Alabama (-4).  Some of the declines are due to juvenile offenders being removed from death row in accordance with the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roper v. Simmons (2005).  Not all such juveniles have been taken off death row. 

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