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December 11, 2006

All the death data

Now available here from DOJ's Bureau of Justice Statistics is "Capital Punishment, 2005." This publication presents lots and lots of current and historical data on persons under sentence of death and executed in the United States.   

Some of the demographic highlights include the fact that, at year end 2005, of "those under sentence of death, 56% were white, 42% were black, and 2% were of other races."  Also, 52 women "were under sentence of death in 2005, up from 47 in 1995." 

Perhaps the data I found most interesting concerned the steep decline in the number of death sentences nationwide over the last decade.  In 1995, a total of 325 persons were sentenced to death; in 2000, only 236 persons were sentenced to death; and in 2005, only 128 persons were sentenced to death.  The numbers in part explain why, in each of the last five years, the total number of persons on death row has decreased.

UPDATE:  This Los Angeles Times article discusses the drop in annual death sentences in Texas, which declined from "40 in fiscal 1996 to 14 in 2006, according to statistics compiled by the Texas Office of Court Administration."

December 11, 2006 at 07:26 AM | Permalink


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