Timing of Their Executions


o understand the chronological changes in executions in the United States, I ran queries of the totals by century and then fed that information into Google's Line graph API. The results showed the bell curve below. The data has not been normalized for population growth, but I would like to understand how these numbers reflect the drastic changes in population over this time period, if they do reflect those changes. Additionally, Blackman and McLaughlin have reported that executions occurring prior to British settlement are underrepresented in the database. Given what is available in the file, the 1800s/early 1900s saw the majority of women in the database executed for their crimes.

A Closer Look at the 1800s

To better understand how the 1800s look under a microscope, I graphed the totals from 1800 to 1930 by decade. Most unexpectedly, executions of women spiked the 1830s and dipped to its lowest point in the 1910s. (Conversely, executions of men spike in the 1930s.) A better understanding of this spike requires a closer reading of the executions that occurred in this time frame.