This Chart of Every Execution in US History Shows How Capital Punishment Has Changed

Illustration for article titled This Chart of Every Execution in US History Shows How Capital Punishment Has Changed

Time Magazine has put together an eye-popping chart showing every execution performed in the United States since 1770, and how each deed was done.


The interactive chart, which can be found here, was compiled by Chris Wilson with help from Emily Maltby and Lon Tweeten. When browsing the chart, mouseover actions call up the figures for a particular year, and include a breakdown of execution type.

Illustration for article titled This Chart of Every Execution in US History Shows How Capital Punishment Has Changed

As the chart shows, there have been 15,760 executions since 1700. Methods of execution include everything from burning (65) and firing squad (13), through to electrocution (4,439) and lethal injection (1,248). Hangings lead the way at 9,183 executions.

The first half of the 20th century was witness to a staggering number of executions, most of them by hanging and electrocution. The dramatic gap between 1967 and 1977 was on account of the Supreme Court’s decision to suspend the practice, but a later ruling brought it back. And as the final chunk of the diagram shows, lethal injections are the primary method used today, despite the controversy that surrounds it.

Data up until 1976 was pulled from research conducted by M. Watt Espy and John Ortiz Smykla, while anything after that came from the Death Penalty Information Center.

Read the entire article at TIME.

Email the author at and follow him at @dvorsky. Top image by TIME

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It’s fascinating how blood thirsty we are in this country. There is no shortage of people calling for other people to be culled for any manner of crimes. If you catch a local news article about some idiot who robbed a pizza store in a dinosaur costume you’ll find the comment sections riddled with calls for the person to be taken out back and shot because he is deemed an unfit human being or something along these lines. It’s truly fascinating to see just how many people support capital punishment.

In the same breath it’s extremely easy to point at the government’s near total corruption and incompetence. Talk to anyone about the government and you’ll find that nearly across the board we all think the politicians are complete idiots, paid shills, entirely corrupt, and are not working for the public’s best interest.

So despite our government being run by corrupt idiots, huge swaths of the population still want to trust this same government to pick people whom they think need to die. We can barely trust government employees to write the word “stop” properly on the pavement yet we want to give them the godly powers of capital punishment to cull the pizza store robber. This is the part that I find stupid. Maybe some of the most heinous individuals in all of society should be put down because they truly are dangerous, I simply don’t trust our government to be the ones who get to decide who these folks are. Especially considering that over 150 death row inmates have been exonerated.

I think it boils down to the fact that we’re a bunch of a—holes really.