By Bonnie Berkowitz, Lazaro Gamio, Dan Keating and Richard Johnson, Updated: Sept. 18, 2014
Below is a breakdown of the people — convicted for killing people — who have been put to death in the United States since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. Most cases involved torture, rape or another felony.
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Breaking down U.S. executions since 1977
The most common method of execution is lethal injection using one, two or three drugs, some of which are in short supply after European drugmakers stopped exports. Many appeals and stays have hinged on whether alternatives are reliable and humane. All executions by firing squad have been performed in Utah, most recently that of Ronnie Gardner in 2001.
were executed by a firing squad
were executed in a gas chamber
were executed by lethal injection
Age at the time of execution has ranged from 22 to 77. Twenty-two people were executed for crimes commited before they were 18. In 2005, the Supreme Court banned executions for crimes committed by juveniles.
were in their 20s
were in their 30s
were in their 40s
were in their 50s
were 60 or older
Three women were executed in 2001, the most since the death penalty was reinstated. All were in Oklahoma: Wanda Jean Allen killed her girlfriend, Marilyn Plantz hired men to kill her husband and Lois Smith killed her son’s ex-girlfriend.
Texas, Oklahoma and Virginia have accounted for more than half of all U.S. executions. Colorado, Connecticut, New Mexico and Wyoming have executed one person each. The federal government has executed three.
were executed in Northeastern states
were executed in Western states
were executed in the Midwest
were executed in the South
SOURCE: Death Penalty Information Center; Washington Post archives and other published reports; “Death Row USA,” by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; U.S. Census Bureau.