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"An even cleverer reference point might be the number of criminals/convictions in each state."

If memory serves, death penalty research most often (though not always) uses executions per homicides known to the police, which makes sense and could also be used for a graphical representation.

Xan Gregg

It looks like there's a safe zone near the state borders :)


Another "cleverer" measure would be people charged with capital offenses because that would give a sense of relative likeliness of receiving the death penalty. To be careful, you would also look at the number of people charged with near capital level offenses to make sure you're not missing a relationship to total crimes and population.


I like the heat map. The original map is good too for the spatial representation.


You might want to use those instead of color intensity : http://fatfonts.org.
1) you get rid of the legend
2) you convey every number precisely


I think it is important to understand the number of executions compared to state population.

That is the best way to know what percentage of our people we are killing. It could also help people when they are deciding where to live; you know - how likely am I to be state-executed?

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