Methods of Execution Used in Capital Punishment and States That Have Abolished the Death Penalty

Updated March 10, 2023 | Infoplease Staff


Find information about each U.S. state's stance on capital punishment and method of execution where applicable. As of May 2013, 18 states and the District of Columbia have abolished the death penalty.


State Method
Alabama Lethal injection or electrocution
Alaska No death penalty
Arizona1 Lethal injection or gas
Arkansas2, * Lethal injection or electrocution
California* Lethal injection or gas
Colorado* Lethal injection
Connecticut No death penalty
Delaware* Lethal injection
District of Columbia No death penalty
Florida Lethal injection or electrocution
Georgia Lethal injection
Hawaii No death penalty
Idaho Lethal injection or firing squad
Illinois No death penalty
Indiana Lethal injection
Iowa No death penalty
Kansas Lethal injection
Kentucky3, * Lethal injection or electrocution
Louisiana Lethal injection
Maine No death penalty
Maryland4 No death penalty
Massachusetts No death penalty
Michigan No death penalty
Minnesota No death penalty
Mississippi Lethal injection
Missouri Lethal injection or gas
Montana Lethal injection
Nebraska Electrocution
Nevada* Lethal injection
New Hampshire5 Lethal injection or hanging
New Jersey No death penalty
New Mexico No death penalty
New York No death penalty
North Carolina* Lethal injection
North Dakota* No death penalty
Ohio Lethal injection
Oklahoma6 Lethal injection, electrocution, or firing squad
Oregon Lethal injection
Pennsylvania Lethal injection
Rhode Island No death penalty
South Carolina Lethal injection or electrocution
South Dakota Lethal injection
Tennessee7, * Lethal injection or electrocution
Texas Lethal injection
Utah Lethal injection
Vermont No death penalty
Virginia Lethal injection or electrocution
Washington Lethal injection or hanging
West Virginia No death penalty
Wisconsin No death penalty
Wyoming8 Lethal injection or gas
Federal system9 Lethal injection
American Samoa No death penalty
Guam No death penalty
Puerto Rico No death penalty
Virgin Islands No death penalty
NOTE: As of March 1, 2005, the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution bars capital punishment for crimes committed before the age of 18.
1. For those sentenced after 11/15/92, only lethal injection is authorized.
2. For those whose capital offense occurred on or after 7/4/83, only lethal injection is authorized.
3. For those sentenced on or after 3/31/98, only lethal injection is authorized.
4. For those sentenced on or after 3/25/94, only lethal injection is authorized.
5. Hanging is authorized only if lethal injection cannot be given.
6. Electrocution is authorized if lethal injection is ever held to be unconstitutional, and firing squad if both lethal injection and electrocution are held unconstitutional.
7. For those whose capital offense occurred after 12/31/98, only lethal injection is authorized.
8. Lethal gas is authorized if lethal injection is ever held to be unconstitutional.
9. For offenses under the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, the method is that of the state in which the conviction took place.
* Executions in these states are on hold as lethal injection as the method of execution is being challenged in courts.
Source: Capital Punishment U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, and the Death Penalty Information Center, updated 2011.


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