24 facts you should know about the death penalty in the United States

Editor’s Note: This article was first published on April 7. On May 15, surviving Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death.

 

Today (Apr. 7), a jury in Boston, Massachusetts, is deliberating the fate of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of two brothers allegedly behind the 2013 bombing of the Boston marathon. Tsarnaev, now 21, could face the death penalty if convicted.

The death penalty was abolished in Massachusetts in 1984, however, it still applies to US federal cases like Tsarnaev’s. For a look at the complicated history and status of capital punishment in the United States, read this list, excerpted from the book 13 Ways of Looking at the Death Penalty (2015, Seven Stories Press). —Quartz staff

14

Age of George Stinney, the youngest person to be executed in the United States in the twentieth century, at the time of his execution

83

Number of days between Stinney’s arrest and his execution in 1944

5,757

Average number of days between sentencing and execution in 2012

2005

Year when the United States Supreme Court declared executing defendants who had committed their crimes as juveniles unconstitutional

11.5

Percentage of individuals executed between 1608 and 2002 whose occupation was listed as “slave,” the most commonly listed occupation

68

Number of individuals executed between 1608 and 2002 whose occupation was listed as “pirate

2

Number of individuals executed between 1608 and 2002 whose occupation was listed as “playboy

15

Number of people executed in the US between 1608 and 2002 for “sodomy, buggery, or bestiality

63

Percentage of white Americans who said they favored the death penalty for convicted murderers in 2013

36

Percentage of African Americans who said they favored the death penalty in the same survey

3

Factor by which jurors in Washington state were found to be more likely to recommend the death sentence for a black defendant than for a white defendant in a similar case according to a 2014 study

33

Percentage of Boston residents who in 2013 said they supported a death sentence for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev if he were convicted of the Boston Marathon bombing

76

Percentage of 2010 US executions that took place in the South

0

Percentage that took place in the Northeast

46

Rank of Texas among states in money spent on mental health treatment, including services in jails and prisons, in 2003

32

Number of US states with the death penalty in 2013

10

Number of states where death row inmates were allowed contact with their families

1

Number of states that do not provide access to television for death row inmates

$3,406

Cost of “tent lease and media supplies” for a 2011 execution in Idaho

$165,351

Cost of remodeling the building in preparation for the same execution

$15

Price cap for last meals on death row in Oklahoma

2011

Year Texas stopped offering last meals before executions

3

Number of people in the US executed by firing squad since 1976

1878

Year the Supreme Court determined that drawing and quartering, public dissection, burning alive, and disembowelment were “cruel and unusual” punishments

Excerpted and adapted from 13 Ways of Looking at the Death Penalty. We welcome your comments at ideas@qz.com.

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