- As of January 1, 2010, there were 61 women on death row. These women comprise 1.87% of the total death row population.
- In the past 100 years, over 40 women have been executed in the United States, including 12 since 1976.
- The most recent execution of a female offender was that of Teresa Lewis in Virginia on September 23, 2010. Five years earlier, Frances Newton was executed in Texas on September 14, 2005.
- There are only 569 documented instances of female executions in the 378 years spanning from 1632 through late-2010.
- Beginning with the earliest American colonial period, executions of female offenders constitute about 2.8% of all American executions.
- Since 1973, 167 death sentences have been imposed upon female offenders, which constitute 2% of all death sentences.
Women in the Death Row Population
- Women account for about 1 in 10 (10%) of murder arrests annually;
- Women account for only 2.0% (167 out of 8,292) death sentences imposed at the trial level;
- Women account for only 1.7% (55 out of 3,261) ) of persons presently on death row; and
- Women account for only 1.0% (12 out of 1,232) of persons actually executed in this modern era
Commonalities among Female Capital Offenders
- Women who are in prison are more likely than men to have killed family members or intimates.
- One quarter of the women on death row as of December 31, 2005 killed their husbands or boyfriends; and nearly another quarter killed their children. Two additional women killed both their husbands and children.
- At least half of the women sentenced to death said they had been victims of childhood abuse, partner abuse, or both.
- Many death sentenced women were addicted to drugs or alcohol or suffered from mental illness.
"The Forgotten Population: A Look at Death Row in the United States through the Experiences of Women" Prepared by the American Civil Liberties Union. Available online at http://deathpenalty.org/pdf_files/womenondeathrow.Dec.2004.pdf
"Death Penalty for Female Offenders, January 1, 1973, through October 31, 2010" by Victor L. Streib. Available online at http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/documents/femaledeathrow.pdf