Capital Punishment, 2017: Selected Findings

This report presents selected findings from the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ annual data collection on capital punishment. It includes statistics on the number of prisoners executed each year from 1977 through 2017, the number and race of prisoners under sentence of death at year-end 2017 by state, and the average elapsed time from sentence to execution by year from 1977 through 2017. BJS obtained data on prisoners under sentence of death from the department of corrections in each jurisdiction that authorized the death penalty as of December 31, 2017. The status of the death penalty was obtained from the office of the attorney general in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the federal government. Data covered all persons under sentence of death at any time during the year who were held in a state or federal non-military correctional facility. It included capital offenders transferred from prison to mental hospitals and those who may have escaped from custody. It excluded persons whose death sentences had been overturned in court, regardless of their current incarceration status.