Pennsylvania No. 4 in number of executions



ExecutionsGraphicTimeMagazineGraphic courtesy of Time magazine. You can play with its chart here.

Since 1700, 15,717 people have been sentenced to death in America and executed, according to an interactive graphic from Time magazine.

In Colonial America (and Pa.), the preferred method was hanging. But burning also pops up frequently in the first 150 years or so of the timeline.

The death penalty took a holiday from about 1968 to 1976, when it fell out of favor in public opinion and the Supreme Court took issue with arbitrary sentencing.

Even though there have only been three prisoners put to death in the commonwealth since 1976, we still rank No. 4 in the number of executions since 1608, according to the Death Penalty Information Center:


See Time’s interactive map here.

Read a short history of the death penalty in Pa. here.