Last updated on: 8/26/2021 | Author: ProCon.org

Most Recent Executions in Each US State

While the death penalty is legal in 27 states, including three that have moratoriums but not bans on the practice, many states have not carried out an execution in the past five or ten years.

21 states executed one or more inmates in the last 10 years (including three states that have since banned the death penalty: Delaware, Virginia, and Washington) and 13 states in the past five years (including one state that has since banned the penalty: Virginia).

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many executions may have been delayed in 2020 and 2021.

The US Supreme Court invalidated all death penalty laws on June 29, 1972 with the Furman v. Georgia ruling. The federal government and each state had to amend all death penalty laws to comply with the ruling, which is why no state has a legal death penalty older than 1973.


 Death Penalty StatusYear of Most Recent ExecutionNumber of Executions in Last 10 Years
(2010-2020)
Number of Executions in Last 5 Years
(2015-2020)
Number of Death Row Inmates
(Dec. 31, 2019)
FederalLegal (1988)

Several moratoriums*
2021131361
AlabamaLegal (1976)20202311175
AlaskaIllegal (1957)1950000
ArizonaLegal (1973)2017140116
ArkansasLegal (1973)20174430
CaliforniaLegal (1977)

Moratorium (2019)
200600724
ColoradoIllegal (2020)1997003
ConnecticutIllegal (2012)2005000
DCIllegal (1981)1957000
DelawareIllegal (2016)2012200
FloridaLegal (1973)20193110340
GeorgiaLegal (1973)2020302146
HawaiiIllegal (1957)1944000
IdahoLegal (1973)2012109
IllinoisMoratorium (2000)

Illegal (2011)
1999000
IndianaLegal (1973)2009008
IowaIllegal (1965)1963000
KansasLegal (1994)19650010
KentuckyLegal (1975)20080027
LouisianaLegal (1973)20101068
MaineIllegal (1887)1885000
MarylandIllegal (2013)2005000
MassachusettsIllegal (1984)1947000
MichiganIllegal (1846 except treason)

Illegal (1964 all crimes)
1830000
MinnesotaIllegal (1911)1906000
MississippiLegal (1974)20126040
MissouriLegal (1975)2020231022
MontanaLegal (1974)2006002
NebraskaIllegal (2015)

Legal (2016)
20181112
NevadaLegal (1973)20060071
New HampshireIllegal (2019)1939001
New JerseyIllegal (2007)1963000
New MexicoIllegal (2009)2001000
New YorkIllegal (2004 or 2007)**1963000
North CarolinaLegal (1977)200600143
North DakotaIllegal (1915 except treason and already-jailed murderers)

Illegal (1973 all crimes)
1905000
OhioLegal (1973)2018233139
OklahomaLegal (1973)***201521146
OregonLegal (1984)

Moratorium (2011)
19970029
PennsylvaniaLegal (1978)

Moratorium (2015)
199900134
Rhode IslandIllegal (1984)1845000
South CarolinaLegal (1974)20111036
South DakotaLegal (1979)2019421
TennesseeLegal (1974)20207752
TexasLegal (1974)202112554216
UtahLegal (1973)2010107
VermontIllegal (1987)1954000
VirginiaIllegal (2021)2017832
WashingtonMoratorium (2014)

Illegal (2018)
2010100
West VirginiaIllegal (1965)1959000
WisconsinIllegal (1853)1851000
WyomingLegal (1977)1992000

*The federal death penalty has only been carried out 16 times since its reinstatement after Furman v. Georgia in 1988: twice in 2001, once in 2003, ten times in 2020, and three times in 2021. Several moratoriums have been put in place by presidents in the interims.

**New York’s death penalty statute was ruled unconstitutional in 2004 and 2007. Some sources list 2004 as the year of abolishment, while others list 2007

***Oklahoma has technically had a moratorium on the death penalty since a botched execution in 2015. Because the state has been actively working to resume executions in the interim, ProCon does not consider Oklahoma a moratorium state.


Sources

Associated Press, “Infamous Iowa Murderer Dustin Honken to Be Executed in 2020,” desmoinesregister.com, July 25, 2019

Nancy Burghart, “Capital Punishment Information,” doc.ks.gov, July 20, 2021

R.L. Cartwright, “February 13, 1906: Minnesota’s Last Legal Execution,” minnpost.com, Feb. 12, 2013

Death Penalty Information Center, “District of Columbia: Notable Cases,” deathpenaltyinfo.org (accessed Aug. 26, 2021)

Death Penalty Information Center, “Executions by State and Year,” deathpenaltyinfo.org (accessed Aug. 25, 2021)

Death Penalty Information Center, “Executions Under the Federal Death Penalty,” deathpenaltyinfo.org (accessed Aug. 25, 2021)

Death Penalty Information Center, “Massachusetts: History of the Death Penalty,” deathpenaltyinfo.org (accessed Aug. 26, 2021)

Death Penalty Information Center, “New Hampshire: Famous Capital Cases,” deathpenaltyinfo.org (accessed Aug. 26, 2021)

Death Penalty Information Center, “New York: History of the Death Penalty,” deathpenaltyinfo.org (accessed Aug. 26, 2021)

Death Penalty Information Center, “Rhode Island: Famous Cases,” deathpenaltyinfo.org (accessed Aug. 26, 2021)

Death Penalty Information Center, “States With No Recent Executions,” deathpenaltyinfo.org, May 6, 2021

Death Penalty Information Center, “West Virginia: History of the Death Penalty,” deathpenaltyinfo.org (accessed Aug. 26, 2021)

Bill Doyle, “The Last Man Executed in New Jersey,” nj1015.com, Jan. 22, 2021

John Lippman, “Vermont Historical Society Stores Windsor State Prison’s Electric Chair,” vnews.com, Aug. 14, 2017

Erin Rhoda, “7 Things You Should Know about the Death Penalty,” bangordailynews.com, Apr. 26, 2015

Dale V. Sandstrom, “Four Capital Murder Trials since the Last Execution in 1905,” ndcourts.gov, Sep. 7, 2006

Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, “Hawaii Set to Have Death Penalty Trial — Despite Abolishing Capital Punishment in 1957,” businessinsider.com, Mar. 8, 2014

Tracy L. Snell, “Capital Punishment, 2019 – Statistical Tables,” bjs.gov, June 2021

State Bar of Michigan, “Michigan Legal Milestones: 41. First to Abolish the Death Penalty,” michbar.org, Nov. 6, 2018

Wisconsin Historical Society, “The Death Penalty in Wisconsin,” wisconsinhistory.org (accessed Aug. 26, 2021)