Death Penalty Facts

Death Row Statistics

  • The United States is the only country in the Western industrialized world that still uses the death penalty.
  • Among the 74 countries who continue to execute, a tiny group accounts for the vast majority of the world’s executions each year— China, Iran, Vietnam and the United States.
  • In the U.S., more than 3,200 people live on death row. Since 1976, when the death penalty was reinstated, more than 1,200 people have been executed in the United States. More than three-quarters took place in southern states—and over 35 percent in Texas alone.
  • Texas spends $50.79 a day per death row inmates with a final cost of $2.3 million dollars per each death row case. This is 3 times the cost of imprisoning someone for life in maximum security.
  • The death penalty is not reserved for the most heinous crimes.
  • Police chiefs rank the death penalty as the least effective way to reduce violent crimes and least efficient use of tax payer money.
  • Since the reinstatement of the death penalty, there has currently been 1,379 executions, as of April 30th 2014.; 1,204 by lethal injection, 158 by electric chair, 11 by gas chamber, 3 by hanging & 3 by firing squad.
  • The death penalty is NOT a deterrent to violent crime.
  • The death penalty is severely biased on race and availability to afford decent representation.
  • Murder of a black person is less likely to result in death penalty then murder of a white person.


Ways to elicit a death penalty conviction:

  • Murder of an on-duty public safety officer/fireman.
  • Intentional murder during another felony such as robbery.
  • Murder while attempting prison escape.
  • Multiple related murders.
  • Murder of children under the age of 10.
  • Murder in retaliation to court cases, such as jury or court members.