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Recent Death Penalty Statistics

Since the reinstatement of the death penalty in Gregg v. Georgia, the majority of inmates under sentence of death have been white. In 2004, the most recent year for which Bureau of Justice Statistics data were available, there were 3,315 inmates on federal and state death rows. More than half were white, while African American inmates made up the next largest group, with 1,390. Hispanics accounted for 13 percent of inmates with a known ethnicity. In 2004, 59 persons were executed in 12 states; the number of executions was six less than in 2003. The number of executions hit a post-1976 high of 98 in 1999. All the executions in 2004 were men. One person was executed by electrocution; lethal injection accounted for the rest. The data available indicate that almost two-thirds of those sentenced to death had previous felony convictions, and slightly less than ten percent had prior convictions for homicide. Ages of inmates sentenced to death ranged from 18 to 89. Additionally, 52 women were under sentence of death at the end of 2004. In 2004, 38 of the fifty states in the United States allowed the death penalty.

Inside Recent Death Penalty Statistics