State by State

The Death Penalty Information Center provides essential statistics like execution numbers, death row population, and murder rates for each state. We also provide historical background on the death penalty in each state, including abolitionist states. Each state page also links to relevant websites, such as state legislatures, groups doing death penalty work, and Departments of Corrections.

Hover over a state on the map to learn its death penalty status and year of reinstatement or abolition. For more in-depth information on each state, click on the links below the map.

States Without The Death Penalty (23)

In addition, the District of Columbia has abolished the death penalty. For more information about Connecticut, Delaware, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington, see the notes below.

Death Penalty States With a Gubernatorial Hold on Executions (5)

In California on Mar. 13, 2019, Gov. Gavin Newsom said “I will not oversee the execution of any person while Governor...Our death penalty system has been, by all measures, a failure.”
Office of the Governor Gavin Newsom, Governor Gavin Newsom Orders a Halt to the Death Penalty in California, March 13, 2019

In Pennsylvania, Gov. Josh Shapiro announced continuation of the hold on executions begun by Gov. Wolf and encouraged the legislature to approve the abolition of the death penalty. (2023)

In Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown continued Gov. Kitzhaber's hold on executions and said there “needs to be a broader discussion” about the death penalty, and that the hold would continue until that discussion is resolved. She commuted all death sentences of those on death row in 2022.

In Arizona, Gov. Katie Hobbs stated: “Under my administration, an execution will not occur until the people of Arizona can have confidence that the state is not violating the law in carrying out the gravest of penalties.”
Jacques Billeaud, Arizona gov­er­nor won’t pro­ceed with exe­cu­tion set by court, Associated Press, March 3, 2023

In Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine told The Associated Press on Dec. 8, 2020 that lawmakers must choose a different method of capital punishment before any inmates can be put to death in the future, and it’s "pretty clear” there won’t be any executions next year.

In addition, the U.S. Government declared a hold on executions.: see Memo FROM: THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

In 1979, the Supreme Court of Rhode Island held that the state's statute imposing a mandatory death sentence for a prisoner who killed a fellow prisoner was unconstitutional. The legislature repealed the law and removed it from the state criminal code in 1984.

In 2004, the New York Court of Appeals held that a portion of the state's death penalty law was unconstitutional. In 2007, the court ruled that its prior holding applied to the last remaining person on the state's death row. The legislature has voted down attempts to restore the statute.

In March 2009, New Mexico voted to abolish the death penalty. However, the repeal was not retroactive, leaving two people on the state's death row. The New Mexico Supreme Court vacated those sentences on June 28, 2019 and ordered the two prisoners be resentenced to life in prison.

In April 2012, the Connecticut legislature voted to abolish the death penalty for future crimes. By its terms, the repeal law did not affect the status of the 11 prisoners then on the state's death row. The Connecticut Supreme Court subsequently ruled in August 2015 that the death penalty violated the state constitution. The Court reaffirmed that holding in May 2016 and reiterated that the state's remaining death row prisoners must be resentenced to life without possibility of parole.

In March 2013, the Maryland legislature voted to prospectively abolish the death penalty. The bill, signed into law in May 2013, left five men on the state's death row, one of whom subsequently died of natural causes. On January 20, 2015, Governor Martin O’Malley commuted the sentences the four remaining death-row prisoners.

On August 2, 2016, the Delaware Supreme Court held that the state's capital sentencing procedures were unconstitutional and struck down Delaware's death penalty statute. In December 2016, the court ruled that its decision applied to the 13 remaining prisoners on the state's death row.

On October 11, 2018, the Washington Supreme Court declared the state's death penalty statute unconstitutional, saying that it was applied in an arbitrary and racially discriminatory manner.

In May 2019, the New Hampshire legislature voted to abolish the death penalty. However, the repeal was not retroactive, leaving one person on the state's death row.

On March 23, 2020, Colorado prospectively abolished the death penalty, leaving three people on death row. That same day, Governor Jared Polis commuted their death sentences.

In August 2019, the Oregon state legislature passed a new law that narrowly limited the crimes for which the death penalty may be imposed. The Oregon Supreme Court then ruled in October 2021 that carrying out the death penalty against individuals whose crimes were no longer statutorily eligible for the death penalty constituted disproportionate punishment prohibited by the state constitution. On December 13, 2022, Governor Kate Brown commuted the sentences of the 17 people still on the state's death row, completing what she described as the legislature's "near abolition" of the death penalty.