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  •  Death Penalty Facts by State



    ALABAMA

    • Sentence is recommended by the jury but determined by the trial court judge.
    • Execution dates are set by the state Supreme Court.
    • Victims are allowed to witness the execution. Citizen witnesses are not allowed.
    • Executions are scheduled for 6 pm at the Holman Correctional Facility near Atmore.
    • The default method is lethal injection, although inmates sentenced to death prior to 2002 may opt for electrocution.
    • Clemency or commutation is a decision by the governor.
    • Alabama death row inmate list

    ALASKA

    • Alaska does not have a death penalty.

    ARIZONA

    • Sentence is decided by the trial court judge.
    • Execution dates are set by the state Supreme Court.
    • Twelve citizen witnesses are required.
    • Clemency or commutation is a decision by both the parole board and the governor.
    • The default method is lethal injection, although an inmate sentenced to death prior to 1993 may opt for lethal gas.
    • Executions are scheduled for 3 pm.
    • The execution chamber is housed at the Arizona State Prison at Florence.
    • Arizona death row inmate list

    ARKANSAS

    • Sentence is decided by the jury.
    • Execution dates are set by the Governor.
    • Clemency or commutation is a decision by the governor.
    • Executions are carried out by lethal injection (with electrocution as an option for inmates sentenced prior to July, 1983).
    • Executions are scheduled for 9 pm.
    • The execution chamber is housed at the Cummins Prison in Varner.
    • Arkansas death row inmate list

    CALIFORNIA

    • Sentence is decided by the trial court judge.
    • Execution dates are set by the trial court judge.
    • Clemency or commutation is a decision by the governor.
    • Executions are carried out by lethal injection (or lethal gas, if the inmate requests it).
    • The execution chamber is housed at San Quentin State Prison.
    • Executions are scheduled for 12:00 am.
    • California death row inmate list

    COLORADO

    • Sentence is decided by the trial jury.
    • Execution dates are set by the trial court judge.
    • Clemency or commutation is a decision by the governor.
    • The method used is lethal injection.
    • Executions are carried out at an unspecified time during the week designated on the execution warrant.
    • The execution chamber is housed at the Colorado State Penitentiary in Canon City.
    • Colorado death row inmate list

    CONNECTICUT

    • Sentence is decided by the jury.
    • Clemency or commutation is a decision by the parole board.
    • The method of execution is lethal injection.
    • The execution chamber is housed in the Osborn Correctional Facility in Somers.
    • Executions are scheduled after 12:00 am.
    • Connecticut death row inmate list

    DELAWARE

    • Sentence is recommended by the jury but decided by the trial court judge.
    • Clemency or commutation is a decision by both the parole board and the governor.
    • Executions are carried out by lethal injection.
    • The execution chamber is housed at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna.
    • 10 witnesses are required to be present. Relatives of the homicide victim and the condemned inmate as well as police officials are allowed to witness the execution. Citizens are not allowed to serve as witnesses.
    • Delaware death row inmate list

    DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

    • D.C. does not have a death penalty.

    FLORIDA

    • Sentence is recommended by the jury but decided by the trial court judge.
    • Execution dates are set by the Governor.
    • Victim witnesses and citizen witnesses are allowed.
    • Executions are scheduled for 6 pm.
    • Execution is by lethal injection (or electrocution, if the inmate opts for it).
    • The execution chamber is housed at the Florida State Prison in Starke.
    • Clemency or commutation is a decision by both the parole board and the governor.
    • Florida death row inmate list

    GEORGIA

    • Sentence is recommended by the jury.
    • Execution dates are set by the trial court judge.
    • Executions are carried out by lethal injection.
    • Executions are scheduled for 7 pm.
    • The execution chamber is housed at the Georgia Diagnostic Prison in Jackson.
    • Two victim witnesses are allowed.
    • Clemency or commutation is a decision by the parole board.
    • Georgia death row inmate list

    HAWAII

    • Hawaii does not have a death penalty.

    IDAHO 

    • Sentence is decided by the jury.
    • Execution dates are set by the trial court judge.
    • Clemency or commutation is a decision by the parole board.
    • Executions are carried out by lethal injection.
    • The execution chamber is housed at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution in Boise.
    • Witnesses include media, law enforcement officials and a spiritual advisor chosen by the inmate; victim witnesses are not allowed.
    • Idaho death row inmate list

    ILLINOIS

    • Sentence is decided by the jury.
    • Execution dates are set by the state Supreme Court.
    • Clemency or commutation is a decision by the governor.
    • The method of execution is lethal injection.
    • The execution chamber is housed at the Tamms Correctional Center.
    • Victims are allowed to witness the execution by closed-circuit television only.

    INDIANA

    • Sentence is recommended by the jury but decided by the trial court judge.
    • Life Without Parole has been a sentencing option in capital murder cases since 1993.
    • Execution dates are set by the state Supreme Court.
    • Clemency or commutation is a decision by both the parole board and the governor.
    • Executions are carried out by lethal injection.
    • The execution chamber is housed at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City.
    • The condemned inmate gets to choose all of the witnesses to their execution.
    • Executions are scheduled for midnight.
    • Indiana death row inmate list

    IOWA

    • Iowa does not have a death penalty.

    KANSAS

    • Sentence is decided by the jury
    • Clemency or commutation is a decision by the governor.
    • Executions are carried out by lethal injection.
    • The execution chamber is housed at the Lansing Correctional Facility.

    KENTUCKY

    • Sentence is decided by the jury.
    • Execution dates are set by the Governor.
    • Clemency or commutation is a decision by the governor.
    • Executions are carried out the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville by lethal injection (electrocution is an alternative for inmates sentenced to death prior to 1998).

    LOUISIANA

    • Sentence is decided by the jury.
    • The district judge signs a death warrant 30-45 days in advance of the execution.
    • The governor may grant clemency or commute the sentence, under advisory from the Board of Pardons.
    • Executions are carried out by lethal injection at the Angola State Penitentiary at 6 pm.
    • Relatives of the homicide victim are allowed to witness the execution.

    MAINE

    • Maine does not have a death penalty.

    MARYLAND

    • Sentence is decided by the jury
    • Execution dates are set by the trial judge, which is actually a week long period in which the Director of the Department of Corrections can set a specific date and time, which is kept secret.
    • Clemency or commutation is a decision by the governor.
    • Executions are carried out by lethal injection at the Maryland State Penitentiary in Baltimore.

    MASSACHUSETTS

    • Massachusetts does not have a death penalty.

    MICHIGAN

    • Michigan does not have a death penalty.

    MINNESOTA

    • Minnesota does not have a death penalty.

    MISSISSIPPI

    • Executions are scheduled for 6 pm at the Parchman Prison complex. Lethal injection is the only method available.

    MISSOURI

    • Sentence is decided by jury. 
    • Execution dates are set by the state Supreme Court.
    • Eight citizen witnesses are required.
    • Executions are conducted by lethal injection at the Potosi Correctional Center in Mineral Point and are scheduled for 6 pm.
    • The governor has the sole authority to grant clemency.

    MONTANA

    • Execution dates are set by the trial court judge.
    • Executions are carried out by lethal injection at the state prison in Deer Lodge.
    • Victim witnesses are not allowed.

    NEBRASKA

    • Execution dates are set by the state Supreme Court
    • Clemency is decided by the Board of Pardons, a three person committee
      made up of the governor, the attorney general, and the secretary of state
    • Executions are carried out by electrocution at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln.

    NEVADA

    • Sentence is decided by jury. 
    • Executions are carried out by lethal injection at the state penitentiary in Carson City.

    NEW HAMPSHIRE

    NEW JERSEY

    • Sentence is decided by jury. 
    • Execution dates are set by the trial court judge.
    • Executions would be conducted by lethal injection at the Trenton State Prison.

    NEW MEXICO

    • New Mexico does not have a death penalty.

    NEW YORK

    NORTH CAROLINA

    • Sentence is decided by jury. 
    • The governor has the sole authority to grant clemency.
    • Two members of the victim’s family are allowed to view the execution.

    NORTH DAKOTA

    • North Dakota does not have a death penalty.

    OHIO

    • Execution dates are set by the state Supreme Court.
    • The governor has the power to grant clemency or commute a death sentence.
    • Executions are carried out by lethal injection at 10 am at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville.
    • Ohio death row inmate list

    OKLAHOMA

    • Execution dates are set by the state Court of Criminal Appeals.
    • Citizen witnesses are not allowed.
    • Executions are carried out by lethal injection at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester at 9 pm.

    OREGON

    PENNSYLVANIA

    • Execution dates are set by the Governor.
    • The Governor has the power to grant clemency or commute a death sentence.
    • Immediate family of victim are allowed as witnesses - parents, spouse, siblings, children, or grandparents of the decedent, including step relationships. Limited to four people.
    • Executions are carried out by lethal injection at the Rockview State Prison near Bellefonte, typically at 10 pm (however, the PA Dept of Corrections director is free to specify a time).

    RHODE ISLAND

    • Rhode Island does not have a death penalty.

    SOUTH CAROLINA

    • Execution dates are set by the state Supreme Court.
    • Executions are scheduled for 6 pm at the Broad River Correctional Center.
    • The inmate may choose between lethal injection and electrocution. If they fail to choose, lethal injection will be the default method.
    • The victim's family is allowed 3 witnesses.  If there is more than 1 victim, the number of family representatives may be reduced to 1 for each victim family. Further, if there are more than 2 victims, the total number of victims' representatives present may be restricted in accordance with the space limitation of the facility.

    SOUTH DAKOTA

    • Executions take place at the South Dakota State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls
    • The execution warrant is issued by the trial court judge, which sets a week in which the execution is to take place. Statutes require the warden of the South Dakota State Penitentiary to set the date and time within the scheduled week for the execution to be carried out. The warden is required to announce the exact time of the execution no less than 48-hours prior to the execution.
    • Executions are by lethal injection.
    • Victim witnesses are allowed as well as citizen witnesses chosen by the warden. The inmate may chose five witnesses.
    • The Governor has sole authority to grant clemency or commute a death sentence. The governor may receive a non-binding recommendation as to clemency or commutation from the state board of pardons; but is under no legal obligation to abide by a board's recommendation.
    • South Dakota death row inmates

    TENNESSEE

    • Execution dates are set by the state Supreme Court.
    • Executions are carried out in the early morning hours at the River Bend State Prison near Nashville.
    • The default method is lethal injection, though inmates sentenced to death prior to 1999 may opt for electrocution.
    • Relatives of the homicide victim and the condemned inmate may both witness the execution.

    TEXAS

    • Sentence is determined by the jury.
    • Execution dates are set by the trial court judge.
    • Up to five witnesses are allowed on behalf of the victim.
    • Citizen witnesses are not allowed.
    • Executions are scheduled for 6 pm at the "Walls" Unit of the TDCJ in downtown Huntsville.
    • Execution is by lethal injection.
    • Clemency or commutation is a decision by both the parole board and the governor.

    UTAH

    VERMONT

    • Vermont does not have a death penalty.

    VIRGINIA

    • Execution dates are set by the trial court judge.
    • At least six citizen witnesses are required. Relatives of the homicide victim are allowed, relatives of the condemned inmate are barred from witnessing.
    • Executions are scheduled for 9 pm at the Greensville Correctional Center near Jarratt.
    • The inmate may choose to be executed by lethal injection or electrocution. If they fail to make a choice, lethal injection is the default method.
    • Clemency or commutation is a decision by the governor.

    WASHINGTON

    • Death sentences are issued by the trial jury.
    • The 5 member Board of Clemency and Pardons hears petitions and recommends to the Governor whether they should be granted or denied.
    • The inmate may opt to be executed by hanging or lethal injection. If the inmate fails to choose, lethal injection is the default method.
    • The execution chamber is housed at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla.
    • Witnesses to the execution will include:
      • a - at least five media representatives, with consideration to be given to news organizations serving communities affected by the crimes or by the commission of the execution of the defendant; b. Judicial officers; c. Representatives of the families of victims; d. Representatives from the family of the inmate sentenced to death; and e. Up to 2 law enforcement representatives. The chief law enforcement officer of the jurisdiction where the crime was committed shall designate the law enforcement representatives
    • Executions are typically scheduled for just after midnight.

    WEST VIRGINIA

    • West Virginia does not have a death penalty.

    WISCONSIN 

    • Wisconsin does not have a death penalty.

    WYOMING

    • Executions are carried out by lethal injection at the Wyoming State Penitentiary at Rawlins.
    • The condemned inmate gets to choose all witnesses present at the execution.

    Notes

    Of the 38 states that have capital punishment, 37 require law enforcement and media officials to witness the executions. At least 16 states have a requirement that civilians with little or no connection to the crime also be present when convicted criminals are put to death.