Breaking down U.S. executions since 1977

By method

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 hanged

were executed by a firing squad

were executed in a gas chamber

were electrocuted

were executed by lethal injection

By age

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

By gender

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.

were women

were men

By region

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.