Capital Punishment in the United States, 1973-2008 (ICPSR 27982)

Published: Sep 7, 2010

Principal Investigator(s):
United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics


Version V1

This data collection provides annual data on prisoners under a sentence of death and prisoners whose offense sentences were commuted or vacated during the period 1973-2008. Information is supplied for basic sociodemographic characteristics such as age, sex, education, and state of incarceration. Criminal history data include prior felony convictions for criminal homicide and legal status at the time of the capital offense. Additional information is available for inmates removed from death row by year-end 2008 and for inmates who were executed.

United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Capital Punishment in the United States, 1973-2008. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-09-07.

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United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics

Access to these data is restricted. Users interested in obtaining these data must complete a Restricted Data Use Agreement, specify the reasons for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research.

1973 -- 2008


The inmate identification numbers were assigned by the Bureau of the Census and have no purpose outside this data collection.

All inmates on death row since 1973 in the United States.

official prison records

event/transaction data

mail questionnaire



2010-09-07 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:

  • Standardized missing values.
  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions. Restricted data files are not available for direct download from the website; click on the Restricted Data button to learn more.

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This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), the criminal justice archive within ICPSR. NACJD is primarily sponsored by three agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.