In Without Sanctuary, historian Leon Litwack writes that between 1882 and 1968 an estimated 4,742 Blacks met their deaths at the hands of lynch mobs. The impact this campaign of terror had on black families is impossible to explain so many years later. That number contrasts with the 1,401 prisoners who have been executed legally in the United States since 1976. In modern terms, that number represents more than those killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom and more than twice the number of American casualties in Operation Enduring Freedom — the Afghanistan conflict.
Turning to home, this number also represents 1,700 more than who were killed on 9/11.