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Capital Punishment, 1991

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 1992
Publication Series
Eight states executed 14 prisoners during 1991, bringing the total number of executions to 157 since 1976, the year that the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty.

Those executed during 1990 had spent an average of 9 years and 8 months awaiting execution, about 1 year and 9 months longer on average than the 23 persons executed during 1990. In addition, during 1991, 265 prisoners under sentence of death were received by State prisons from the courts. Furthermore, during the year 106 persons had their death sentences vacated, two had their sentence commuted, and seven died in prison while still under a death sentence. At the end of the year, 34 States reported a total of 2,482 prisoners under sentence of death, a 5-percent increase from the number held in 1989. All these prisoners had been convicted of murder. Their median time since sentencing was 5 years. About 70 percent of those for whom criminal-history data were available had a prior felony conviction, with about one in 12 having a prior homicide conviction. Tables, map, and notes

Date Published: October 1, 1992