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Capital Punishment, 2018 - Statistical Tables

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2020
25 pages
Tracy L. Snell
Publication Type
Statistics, Report (Annual/Periodic), Legislation/Policy Description
This report presents statistics on persons who were under a death sentence or were executed in 2018, as well as 2018 statistics on state and federal death-penalty laws.
Regarding death penalty laws, at year-end 2018, 34 states and the federal government authorized the death penalty. Each jurisdiction determined the offense for which the death penalty could be imposed. Under these laws, once a person has been convicted of a capital offense, a separate sentencing hearing is held, during which a jury will consider aggravating and mitigating factors as defined by the state or federal law. Before a person could be sentenced to death, the laws required that a jury must find that at least one aggravating factor was present in the crime and that mitigating factors did not outweigh any aggravating factors. At the end of 2018, 30 states and the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) held 2,628 prisoners under a death sentence. This was 75 (3 percent) fewer prisoners under a death sentence at year-end 2017. In 2018, the number of prisoners under a death sentence declined for the 18th consecutive year. During 2018, 13 states and the BOP received 38 prisoners who had been sentenced to death. California, Florida, and Texas together held about half of the prisoners under death sentences at year-end 2018. Eight states executed 25 prisoners in 2018, with Texas accounting for 13 of the executions. A total of 18 states and the BOP removed 88 prisoners from a death sentence in 2018 by means other than execution. The characteristics of the prisoners under a death sentence at year-end 2018 are reported by gender and race/ethnicity. Graphs show data trends for death sentences from the last few decades of the 1900s through 2018. 14 tables and 5 figures
Date Created: September 29, 2020