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Forty Years Of Capital Punishment Captured In One Chart

Convicted Boston bomber Dzokhar Tsarnaev is eligible for capital punishment. This one chart captures nearly forty years’ worth of executions in the U.S.


A federal jury on Wednesday found Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty on 30 separate counts related to the Boston Marathon bombing. The 2013 attack, which was orchestrated by Tsarnaev and his brother, killed three people and injured hundreds more. Seventeen of the counts allow for capital punishment.

The federal government has not executed a convict since 2003, when Luis Jones, Jr. was put to death for the 1995 kidnapping, rape, and murder of 19-year-old Army Pvt. Tracie Joy McBride. Over the last 50 years, only three civilians have been executed by the federal government.

At the state level, capital punishment is far more prevalent. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, nearly 1,400 individuals across 34 states have been executed since 1977. The Pew Research Center gathered the data from each state and compiled it into a single infographic showing where capital punishment has been carried out each year going back to 1977:

The sentencing portion of the trial, which could lead to Tsarnaev receiving the death penalty, could take weeks. It could begin as early as next week.