Executions of female offenders in the current era (1973-mid-2009) are listed in Table 4 below.
EXECUTIONS OF FEMALE OFFENDERS BY STATES
DURING CURRENT ERA, JANUARY 1, 1973, THROUGH JUNE 30, 2009
Race & Age at
Crime & Execution
white; ages 52 & 58
Tucker, Karla Faye
white; ages 23 & 38
white; ages 28 & 54
Beets, Betty Lou
white; ages 46 & 62
Riggs, Christina Marie
white; ages 26 & 29
Allen, Wanda Jean
black; ages 29 & 41
Plantz, Marilyn Kay
white; ages 27 & 40
Smith, Lois Nadeen
white; ages 41 & 61
Block, Linda Lyon
white; ages 45 & 54
white; ages 33 & 46
Newton, Francis Elaine
Black; ages 21 & 40
Only eleven (0.9%) of the 1,168 total executions since 1973 have been of female offenders. This execution pace has changed recently, with only one (0.2%) of the 434 executions from 1973 to 1997 being a female offender. Since1998, ten (1.4%) of the 734 total executions have been of female offenders.
This recent (1998-mid-2009) execution pace matches almost exactly that beginning in 1900, so it appears that the 1973-1997 lull in executions of female offenders was atypical and that we have now returned to our normal rate.
FEMALES UNDER DEATH SENTENCES AS OF JUNE 30, 2009
Of the 165 death sentences imposed since 1973, only fifty-three women remained under sentences of death in eighteen states and under federal jurisdiction as of mid-2009. Tables 5 and 6 below provide data describing the offenders and victims in these cases.
These fifty-three women comprise only 1.6% of the approximately 3,300 persons currently on death row.
One-quarter (13/53) of these fifty-three death-sentenced women killed their husbands or boyfriends; and another roughly one-quarter (11/53) killed their children. Two additional women killed both their husbands and their children.
The present ages of these 53 female offenders range from 25 to 76 years old, and they have been on death row from less than one year to over twenty-three years.
Appendix B to this report provides the names of these offenders and some brief details about their crimes and sentences. Multiple sentencing dates mean that the earlier death sentence was reversed but then a new death sentence was imposed.