Our Latest Updates – Archive

Alabama Scheduled to Carry Out Nation’s First Execution Using Nitrogen Hypoxia
1/17/2024 -

Kenneth Eugene Smith, convicted of the murder-for-hire of a preacher’s wife in 1988, is scheduled to be executed on Jan. 25, 2024. If carried out, the execution will be the first using nitrogen hypoxia in the United States.

Washington Officially Abolishes Death Penalty
4/24/2023 -

On Apr. 20, 2023, Governor Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 5087, which removed the laws the state supreme court found unconstitutionally, officially abolishing the death penalty in Washington. The states’s supreme court ruled the laws unconstitutional in 2018.

Idaho Legalizes Firing Squad as Backup Method of Death Penalty
4/3/2023 -

On Mar. 24, 2023, Governor Brad Little signed HB 186 to legalize the firing squad as a backup method for the death penalty should lethal injection not be an option.

Pennsylvania Governor Continues Death Penalty Moratorium
2/22/2023 -

Governor Josh Shapiro will continue the death penalty moratorium established by his predecessor, Tom Wolf in 2015.

First Known U.S. Execution of Openly Transgender Person in Missouri
1/9/2023 -

On Jan. 3, 2023, Missouri executed Amber McLaughlin, who was convicted of the 2003 first-degree murder, forcible rape, and armed criminal action against Beverly Guenther. McLaughlin is thought to be the first openly transgender person executed in the United States.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown Commutes All Death Row Sentences
12/14/2022 -

Outgoing Oregon Governor Kate Brown commuted the sentences of all death row inmates and instructed that the death chamber be dismantled. 

Judge Rules SC’s Plan to Reinstate Firing Squad & Electric Chair Unconstitutional
9/8/2022 -

On Sep. 6, 2022, Circuit Court Judge Jocelyn Newman ruled that South Carolina’s plan to reinstate the firing squad and electric chair was unconstitutional. South Carolina is expected to appeal the decision.

Updated: Death Row Inmates
5/24/2022 -

Find the most current information on death row inmates in the US, including the number of death row inmates, average time spent on death row before execution, the year each inmate was sentenced to death, demographic information, criminal histories, and removals from death row for reasons other than execution.

US Supreme Court Upholds Death Penalty Sentence for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
3/4/2022 -

In a 6-3 vote, the US Supreme Court upheld Tsarnaev’s death sentence. The sentence was overturned in 2020 by an appeals court, but that ruling was appealed to the Supreme Court by the Trump administration. The Biden administration, despite a federal moratorium on capital punishment, pursued the appeal after Biden took office.

Updated: Should the Death Penalty Be Legal?
9/22/2021 -

Explore the debate with updated and new questions, resources, and more.

US Department of Justice Withdraws Death Penalty in Seven Cases
7/23/2021 -

The US Justice Department has quietly withdrawn the death penalty in seven cases over the past several months. In each case, prosecutors were directed by the Trump Justice Department to seek the death penalty.

US Attorney General Imposes Federal Death Penalty Moratorium
7/2/2021 -

Merrick Garland, JD, stated, “Serious concerns have been raised about the continued use of the death penalty across the country… Those weighty concerns deserve careful study and evaluation by lawmakers.”

New Resource: International and American Methods of Execution
5/20/2021 -

What methods of execution are used globally? Which methods other than lethal injection are authorized by US states? Find out in this new resource.

New Resource: International Death Penalty Status
5/19/2021 -

Where in the world is the death penalty legal? Which countries have abolished the practice? Find out in this new resource.

South Carolina Legalizes Electric Chair and Firing Squad Executions if Lethal Drugs Are Unavailable
5/17/2021 -

The state’s supply of lethal injection drugs expired in 2013.