Espy, M. Watt, Headland, Alabama;
Smykla, John Ortiz, University of South Alabama. Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice
This collection furnishes data on executions performed under
civil authority in the United States between 1608 and 2002. The dataset
describes each individual executed and the circumstances surrounding
the crime for which the person was convicted. Variables include age,
race, name, sex, and occupation of the offender, place, jurisdiction,
date, and method of execution, and the crime for which the offender was
executed. Also recorded are data on whether the only evidence for the
execution was official records indicating that an individual
(executioner or slave owner) was compensated for an execution.
Espy, M. Watt, and John Ortiz Smykla. Executions in the United States, 1608-2002: The ESPY File . ICPSR08451-v5. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2016-07-20. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR08451.v5
Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR08451.v5
- RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
- EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)
This study was funded by:
- National Science Foundation (SES 84-09725)
- United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics
Scope of Study
State Department of Corrections records, newspapers,
county histories, proceedings of state and local courts, holdings of
historical societies, and other listings of executions
Extent of Processing: ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of
disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major
statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to
these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:
Performed consistency checks.
Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.
Original ICPSR Release: 1988-01-06
- 2016-07-20 Corrections were made to two records. Case number 40001 was dropped, as government records show that she was pardoned. For case number 50367, the method of execution was changed from hanging to electrocution.
- 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one
or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well
as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable,
and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to
reflect these additions.
- 2004-02-27 Data from the years 1992 through 2002 have been
added to the data file. The SPSS and SAS data definition statements
have been updated accordingly and Part 2 of this study, old SAS
data definition statements will be removed, leaving all files in only
one part. The ASCII codebook has also been updated and converted to a
If you're looking for collection-level metadata rather than an individual metadata record, please visit our Metadata Records page.