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 February 3, 2016 following an execution in Georgia.
Race of Defendants Executed in the U.S. Since 1976
BLACK 494 34.6%
LATINO 118 8.3%
WHITE 791 55.5%
OTHER 24 1.7%

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 323 15.4%
LATINO 143 6.8%
WHITE 1583 75.6%
OTHER 45 2.2%


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 10/1/2014 from NAACP-LDF "Death Row USA (October 1, 2015)" 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 (31)



  Black Defendant / White Victim (296)

 

Executions for Interracial Murders

Current U.S. Death Row Population by Race
BLACK 1234 41.70%
LATINO 382 12.91%
WHITE 1262 42.65%
OTHER 81 2.73%

Death Row Population Figures from NAACP-LDF "Death Row USA (October 1, 2015)"
race chart 3

 


Current Death Row Populations by Race
as of October 1, 2015


State Total Black White Latino Native Amer. Asian
Alabama 196 104 89 2 0 1
Arizona 125 16 76 28 3 2
Arkansas 36 20 16 0 0 0
California 743 268 251 184 12 28
Colorado 3 3 0 0 0 0
Connecticut 0 0 0 0 0 0
Delaware 18 11 4 3 0 0
Florida 399 154 211 31 1 2
Georgia 80 40 37 3 0 0
Idaho 10 0 10 0 0 0
Indiana 13 3 10 0 0 0
Kansas 9 3 6 0 0 0
Kentucky 34 6 28 0 0 0
Louisiana 83 55 24 3 0 1
Mississippi 48 26 21 0 0 1
Missouri 29 10 19 0 0 0
Montana 2 0 2 0 0 0
Nebraska 10 2 3 5 0 0
Nevada 78 29 39 8 0 2
New Hampshire 1 1 0 0 0 0
New Mexico 2 0 2 0 0 0
North Carolina 156 79 63 5 8 1
Ohio 146 78 63 3 0 2
Oklahoma 50 22 23 2 3 0
Oregon* 35 3 27 3 1 0
Pennsylvania 181 97 65 17 0 2
South Carolina 44 23 20 1 0 0
South Dakota 3 0 3 0 0 0
Tennessee 72 33 36 1 0 2
Texas 263 110 74 74 0 5
Utah 9 1 5 2 1 0
Virginia 8 3 4 1 0 0
Washington 9 4 5 0 0 0
Wyoming 1 0 1 0 0 0
US Gov't 62 28 25 7 1 1
US Military 6 3 3 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 2,959 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, 2015)"