Thirty-six states have either abolished the death penalty, have executions on hold, or have not carried out an execution in at least 5 years. Recently, three states, Arizona, Ohio, and Oklahoma, temporarily halted executions as reviews are conducted of botched executions. In six states, Arkansas, California, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, and North Carolina, a de facto moratorium on executions is in place because of lethal-injection challenges; most of those states have not had an execution since 2008. Colorado, Oregon, and Washington have formal moratoriums on executions imposed by their governors. Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have abolished the death penalty. In 6 additional states, while no formal hold is in place, no execution has been conducted in at least five years. The U.S. military and federal government also authorize the death penalty, but neither has had an execution in over ten years. Click image at left to see enlarged chart with further details.



Reason for Hold

Alaska Death penalty abolished
Arizona Temporary hold after botched execution of Joseph Wood
Arkansas Lethal injection challenges in court
California Lethal injection challenges in court; also a federal judge has declared state’s death penalty unconstitutional
Colorado Governor imposed moratorium
Connecticut Death penalty abolished
Hawaii Death penalty abolished
Illinois Death penalty abolished
Iowa Death penalty abolished
Kentucky Lethal injection challenges in court
Louisiana Lethal injection challenges in court
Maine Death penalty abolished
Maryland Death penalty abolished
Massachusetts Death penalty abolished
Michigan Death penalty abolished
Minnesota Death penalty abolished
Montana Lethal injection challenges in court
New Jersey Death penalty abolished
New Mexico Death penalty abolished
New York Death penalty abolished
North Carolina Lethal injection challenges in court
North Dakota Death penalty abolished
Ohio 6-month hold after botched execution of Dennis McGuire
Oklahoma 6-month hold after botched execution of Clayton Lockett
Oregon Governor imposed moratorium
Rhode Island Death penalty abolished
Vermont Death penalty abolished
Washington Governor imposed moratorium
West Virginia Death penalty abolished
Wisconsin Death penalty abolished
District of Columbia Death penalty abolished
Federal government Lethal injection challenges in court

Jurisdictions with no formal hold, but no executions in over 5 years


Date of last execution

Kansas June 22, 1965
Nebraska December 2, 1997
Nevada April 26, 2006
New Hampshire July 14, 1939
Pennsylvania July 5, 1999
Wyoming January 22, 1992
U.S. Military April 13, 1961

(Posted by DPIC, July 24, 2014; revised July 30, 2014). See Lethal Injection, Death Penalty in Flux, and States with and without the death penalty.