Death Penalty Methods Broken Down By State
April 30th, 2014
12:23 PM ET

Death Penalty Methods Broken Down By State

The botched execution of an Oklahoma inmate who died of a heart attack after his vein apparently “exploded,” has resurrected national conversation about the death penalty in the United States.

The total number of executions and death sentences continues to drop each year nationwide, but capital punishment remains legal in 32 U.S. states and approximately 3,095 inmates in 35 states are awaiting execution.

Of these 32 states, lethal injection is the most commonly used practice of carrying out the death penalty, but other procedures include electrocution, gas chamber, hanging and firing squad.


Lethal Injection:  Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut*, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland*, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico*, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming, U.S. Military, U.S. Government

Electrocution: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, [Oklahoma], South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia

Gas Chamber: Arizona, Missouri, [Wyoming]

Hanging: Delaware, New Hampshire, Washington

Firing Squad: [Oklahoma], Utah

*Utah no longer offers the firing squad as an option, but would allow it only for inmates who chose this method prior to its elimination .

*Oklahoma offers firing squad only if lethal injection and electrocution are found unconstitutional.

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, Capital Punishment 2011; updated by DPIC




On "New Day" Wednesday, legal expert Jeffrey Toobin discussed the Oklahoma case with Chris Cuomo.



READ: Oklahoma execution: 'Chaos' after lethal injection is stopped, inmate dies anyway

READ: Death penalty in the United States gradually declining

READ: Death penalty Fast Facts

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