States With and Without the Death Penalty
|STATES WITH THE DEATH PENALTY (30)||
Other State Information:
- U.S. Gov't
- U.S. Military
|STATES WITHOUT THE DEATH PENALTY (20) (YEAR ABOLISHED OR OVERTURNED IN PARENTHESES)|
New Jersey (2007)
New Mexico (2009)*
New York (2007)^^
North Dakota (1973)
Rhode Island (1984)^
West Virginia (1965)
Dist. of Columbia (1981)
|DEATH PENALTY STATES WITH GUBERNATORIAL MORATORIA (4)|
|Colorado (2013)||Pennsylvania (2015)||Oregon (2011)|
^ In 1979, the Supreme Court of Rhode Island held that the state's statute imposing a mandatory death sentence for an inmate 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 The legislature repealed the law and removed it from the state criminal code in 1984.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.
** 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.
# 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. The Delaware Attorney General's office did not ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the ruling. On December 15, 2016, the Delaware high court ruled that its decision applies retroactively, and it has resentenced the 13 prisoners formerly on the state's death row to sentences of life without parole.
## 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.