Capital Punishment in the United States, 1973-2018 (ICPSR 37879)

Version Date: May 31, 2022 View help for published

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United States. Bureau of Justice Statistics


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  • V2 [2022-05-31]
  • V1 [2020-11-19] unpublished
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CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IN THE UNITED STATES, 1973-2018 provides annual data on prisoners under a sentence of death, as well as those who had their sentences commuted or vacated and prisoners who were executed. This study examines basic sociodemographic classifications including age, sex, race and ethnicity, marital status at time of imprisonment, level of education, and state and region of incarceration. Criminal history information includes prior felony convictions and prior convictions for criminal homicide and the legal status at the time of the capital offense. Additional information is provided on those inmates removed from death row by yearend 2018. The dataset consists of one part which contains 9,583 cases. The file provides information on inmates whose death sentences were removed in addition to information on those inmates who were executed. The file also gives information about inmates who received a second death sentence by yearend 2018 as well as inmates who were already on death row.

United States. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Capital Punishment in the United States, 1973-2018. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2022-05-31.

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


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

Restricted Data Use Agreements available on the NACJD website are provided for reference only. Please visit the ResearchDataGov website to download the appropriate Restricted Data Use Agreement and submit your request. Once approved, data may be accessed from a requester secure site via ICPSR's secure download procedures.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

1973 -- 2018
  1. 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



  1. The data provider updated the data for one record. Values were recoded for V27, V31, V32, V33, and V37 if V6 (inmate id) =4658.
  2. The ICPSR created variables V1 to V4 were removed as the variables did not add value to the data.

2020-11-19 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:

  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • 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.