There are 51 women currently on Death Row in the United States, with women on Death Row in 17 states, along with one woman awaiting execution for federal crimes. The crimes of female Death Row inmates always include murder, but usually under special circumstances that juries feel merit the ultimate punishment.
Many of the women given the death penalty either killed children, masterminded conspiracies, tortured their victims, or committed a number of crimes at the same time. Most have histories of abuse, dysfunctional families, mental instability, or drug addiction. A number of the women slated for execution conspired with boyfriends or husbands to kill men preventing them from being together, while others killed their families for insurance money. Whatever the circumstances, one of these women were able to use their past histories as mitigating factors to not be sentenced to death.