U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Capital Punishment, 1979

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 1980
Publication Series
This report provides information on prisoners under sentence of death in 1979, on executions carried out during the 1930-79 period, and on recent developments in capital punishment laws.

One in a series of annual reports on capital punishment in the United States published under the National Prisoner Statistics program, the report presents data on the age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, marital status, and education of death-row inmates. Data on legal status at time of arrest, prior felony history, offense, and time spent on death row during the year, both the method of removal and status at yearend. The number of persons on death row reached a near record total of 567 by the end of 1979, an increase of 103 over the previous year. Two prisoners were executed during the year, marking the second and third executions carried out since 1967. About 40 percent of the death-row population was black; 25 condemned persons were Hispanic; and 3 were women. A special table providing data on death penalty laws for the 50 States, the Federal system, and the District of Columbia is contained in Appendix I. Appendix II contains the statistical data tables on which the report is based. Appendix III presents the basic questionnaire mailed to correctional authorities. Data collection procedures and changes in the program are reviewed in Appendix IV, methodology. Data are collected and analyzed by the Bureau of the Census for the Bureau of Justice Statistics. A map, figures, and footnotes are included. (Author abstract modified)

Date Published: December 1, 1980