Interactive: How California's death row became the nation's largest

Published: Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012 - 11:33 am
Last Modified: Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013 - 5:10 pm

Fifteen years ago, California had about as many death row inmates as Texas. Today, California's death row is more than twice as large, with 729 inmates.

The difference is that California continues to send inmates to death row, but rarely executes them. Texas, in the recent past, has executed about as many condemned inmates as it received.

In the last 15 years, California has condemned 354 convicted murderers, while executing nine. During the same period, Texas executed 377 of its death row inmates.

If California began executing inmates at the same pace as Texas, it would still take 30 years to execute everyone currently on California's death row, barring natural deaths.

Fifteen states have executed more death row inmates than California in the last 15 years. A November ballot proposition seeks to ban the use of the death penalty in California.

By early 2011, California had about 18 death row inmates per million residents, placing it in the top ten among states nationwide for condemned inmates per capita.

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics; California Department of Corrections; Texas Department of Criminal Justice;; U.S. Census Bureau
Note: Map at bottom shows number of death row inmates and population as of January 2011; other charts show executions and death row inmates as of August 2012.

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