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DPIC RESOURCES: New State Pages Now Available

DPIC is pleased to announce the completion of our State Information Pages for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  These state profiles provide historical and current information on the death penalty for each state, including famous cases, past legislative actions, and links to key organizations and state officials.  For frequently updated information, such as execution totals, the size of death row, or the number of exonerations, see our State-by-State Database.  Readers are encouraged to send additional information, pictures, and links to organizations in their state.  You can reach the State Information Pages through the "State by State" button at the top of every page on our website or under the "Resources" tab in our main menu.


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First Federal Death Sentence in Non-Death Penalty State Overturned

On August 3 the U.S. Court of the Appeals for the Sixth Circuit overturned the federal death sentence of Marvin Gabrion, who was convicted of a 1997 murder in a National Forest in Michigan.  Gabrion was the first defendant in the country to receive the federal death penalty for a crime committed in a non-death penalty state since the federal death penalty was reinstated in 1988.  All three members of the judicial panel upheld Gabriion's murder conviction, but two judges called for another sentencing trial because Gabrion's defense team was barred from telling jurors that he would not have faced the death penalty if he had been prosecuted in state court because Michigan does not allow capital punishment. The court held that such information could have served as a mitigating factor, perhaps convincing some jurors not to vote for death.  In deciding Gabrion's direct appeal, the court wrote, "The case was not brought to serve a special national interest like treason or terrorism different from the normal state interest in punishing murder. The jury should be given the opportunity to consider whether one or more of them would choose a life sentence rather than the death penalty when the same jury considering the same defendant's proper punishment for the same crime but prosecuted in Michigan state court could not impose the death penalty."  The federal government had jurisdiction over the crime because the victim's body was found in a portion of a lake in Manistee National Forest that is federal property.  Gabrion was the first person to receive a death sentence in Michigan since 1937.


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Jurisdictions with no recent executions

Although the United States is considered a death penalty country, executions are rare or non-existent in most of the nation: the majority of states—31 out of 50—have either abolished the death penalty or have not carried out an execution in at least 10 years. An additional 6 states have not had an execution in at least 5 years, for a total of 37 states with no executions in that time. Three additional jurisdictions (the District of Columbia, the Federal Government, and the Military) have not had an execution in at least 10 years.

The tables below list the jurisdictions with no executions in many years (updated November 21, 2018):

31 states, plus 3 jurisdictions (District of Columbia, Federal Government, and Military), with no death penalty or no executions in at least 10 years

Jurisdictions with no death penalty Last Execution
1. Alaska Before 1976
2. Connecticut (1) May 13, 2005
3. Delaware (16) April 20, 2012
4. Hawaii Before 1976
5. Illinois (12) March 17, 1999
6. Iowa Before 1976
7. Maine Before 1976
8. Maryland (5) December 5, 2005
9. Massachusetts Before 1976
10. Michigan Before 1976
11. Minnesota Before 1976
12. New Jersey Before 1976
13. New Mexico (1) November 6, 2001
14. New York Before 1976
15. North Dakota Before 1976
16. Rhode Island Before 1976
17. Vermont Before 1976
18. Washington (5) Sept. 10, 2010
19. West Virginia Before 1976
20. Wisconsin Before 1976
21. District of Columbia Before 1976
Jurisdictions with the death penalty Last Execution
22. California (13) January 17, 2006
23. Colorado (1) October 13, 1997
24. Kansas (0) Before 1976
25. Kentucky (3) November 21, 2008
26. Montana (3) August 11, 2006
27. Nevada (12) April 26, 2006
28. New Hampshire (0) Before 1976
29. North Carolina (43) August 18, 2006
30. Oregon (2) May 16, 1997
31. Pennsylvania (3) July 6, 1999
32. Wyoming (1) January 22, 1992
33. U.S. Federal Government (3) March 18, 2003
34. U.S. Military (0) Before 1976

37 states, plus 3 jurisdictions, with no death penalty or no executions in at least 5 years

Jurisdictions with no death penalty Last Execution
1. Alaska Before 1976
2. Connecticut (1) May 13, 2005
3. Delaware (16) April 20, 2012
4. Hawaii Before 1976
5. Illinois (12) March 17, 1999
6. Iowa Before 1976
7. Maine Before 1976
8. Maryland (5) December 5, 2005
9. Massachusetts Before 1976
10. Michigan Before 1976
11. Minnesota Before 1976
12. New Jersey Before 1976
13. New Mexico (1) November 6, 2001
14. New York Before 1976
15. North Dakota Before 1976
16. Rhode Island Before 1976
17. Vermont Before 1976
18. Washington (5) Sept. 10, 2010
19. West Virginia Before 1976
20. Wisconsin Before 1976
21. District of Columbia Before 1976
Jurisdictions with the death penalty Last Execution
22. California (13) January 17, 2006
23. Colorado (1) October 13, 1997
24. Idaho (3) June 12, 2012
25. Indiana (20) December 11, 2009
26. Kansas (0) Before 1976
27. Kentucky (3) November 21, 2008
28. Louisiana (28) Jan. 7, 2010
29. Montana (3) August 11, 2006
30. Mississippi (21) June 20, 2012
31. Nevada (12) April 26, 2006
32. New Hampshire (0) Before 1976
33. North Carolina (43) August 18, 2006
34. Oregon (2) May 16, 1997
35. Pennsylvania (3) July 6, 1999
36. South Carolina (43) May 6, 2011
37. Utah (7) June 18, 2010
38. Wyoming (1) January 22, 1992
39. U.S. Federal Government (3) March 18, 2003
40. U.S. Military (0) Before 1976

Number in parentheses indicates total executions since 1976.
 

 

(DPIC, map as of October 29, 2018).  See DPIC's 2016 Year End Report.  See also Executions and Executions by County.


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