(1) The section of some prisons which houses convicted criminals awaiting execution.
(2) A figurative term referring to the state of a prisoner convicted of a crime that warrants the death penalty who is awaiting execution.
Some prisoners file multiple appeals to prevent or delay execution; the appeals take so long that one-quarter of those on death row (DR) die of natural causes. Nearly 3,125 convicted criminals are on DR in the USA. Georgia’s Jack Alderman, convicted of killing his wife, spent 33 years on DR before his 2008 execution. Florida’s Gary Alvord, holds the record for the longest period—43 years—on DR. He died of a brain tumour in 2013, cheating the State of its punishment.