Name ‘Em and Shame ‘Em Part II

If you read my last blog post, you may have noticed some rare (dare I say “unusual?”) forms of execution still exist in some states in the U.S.  That's right.

Under certain circumstances

8 states allow electrocution,

4 states allow gas (gas chamber),

3 states allow hanging,

and 2 states allow execution by firing squad.

(You think they give the guy a cigarette?)


Every nation in the 500-million person, 27-country European Union has abolished the death penalty.  In fact, it is a requirement for them to do so in order to join the European Union.  The European Union considers the death penalty a violation of human dignity and human rights.   

The Death Penalty Name ‘Em and Shame ‘Em

Many issues (liberal and conservative) are being debated and worked on at the state level.  It is bringing it closer to the “grass roots.”  America is a large country with over 300 million people, and opinions are diverse.  Over the past few years, gay marriage, gun control, marijuana legalization, and many other issues have been brought to the forefront at the state level.  

There is one issue that has been a hot button topic at the state level not for years.  Not for decades.  But for over a century:  The death penalty.

Let’s do a bit of “Death Penalty Name ‘Em and Shame ‘Em”  and take a look at which states have the death penalty and which do not. 

Yes = have the death penalty.  I will also list the method of execution.               

Alabama – Yes.  Choice of Lethal Injection or Electric Chair.

Alaska – No death penalty.

Arizona – Yes. Lethal Injection.  Choice of Gas Chamber if sentenced before 11/92.

Arkansas –  Yes. Lethal Injection for crimes committed on or after 7/4/83.  Electrocution was a choice for crimes committed prior to 7/4/83.

California – Yes.  Choice of Lethal Injection or Gas.

Colorado – Yes.  Lethal Injection.  

Connecticut – No death penalty.  

Delaware – Yes. Lethal Injection for offenses on or after 6/13/86.  Choice of Lethal Injection or Hanging (!!) for offenses prior to that.  

Florida – Yes.  Choice of Lethal Injection or Electrocution.

Georgia – Yes.  Lethal Injection. 

Hawaii – No death penalty.

Idaho – Yes.  Lethal Injection.

Illinois – No death penalty.  

Indiana – Yes.  Lethal Injection. 

Iowa – No death penalty.  

Kansas – Yes.  Lethal Injection. 

Kentucky – Yes. Lethal Injection for inmates sentenced on or after 3/31/98.  Inmates sentenced prior to that may choose Lethal Injection or Electrocution.  

 Louisiana – Yes.  Lethal Injection.  

Maine – No death penalty.

Maryland – No death penalty.  

Massachusetts – No death penalty.

Michigan – No death penalty.

Minnesota – No death penalty.

Mississippi – Yes.  Lethal Injection. 

Missouri – Yes.  Choice of Lethal Injection or Gas.  

Montana – Yes.  Lethal Injection.  

Nebraska – Yes.  Lethal Injection. 

Nevada – Yes.  Lethal Injection.

New Hampshire – Yes.  Lethal Injection.  Hanging if Lethal Injection is not possible.  

New Jersey – No death penalty.  

New Mexico – No death penalty.  

New York – No death penalty.   

North Carolina – Yes.  Lethal Injection.  

North Dakota – No death penalty.

Ohio – Yes. Lethal Injection – 1 drug protocol. 

Oklahoma – Yes. Lethal Injection.  OK also allows for Electrocution or Firing Squad if other methods are found to be unconstitutional. 

Oregon – Yes.  Lethal Injection.  

Pennsylvania – Yes.  Lethal Injection.  

Rhode Island – No death penalty.

South Carolina – Yes.  Choice of Lethal Injection or Electrocution.  

South Dakota – Yes. Lethal Injection. 

Tennessee – Yes. Lethal Injection for crimes committed after 12/31/1998.  Choice of Lethal Injection or Electrocution for crimes committed before that date. 

Texas – Yes. Lethal Injection. 

Utah – Yes. Lethal Injection.  Firing Squad if Lethal Injection is held to be unconstitutional.  Choice of Lethal Injection or Firing Squad prior to 5/3/04.  

Vermont – No death penalty.

Virginia – Yes. Choice of Lethal Injection or Electrocution.

Washington – Yes. Choice of Lethal Injection or Hanging.

West Virginia – No death penalty.

Wisconsin – No death penalty.

Wyoming – Yes. Lethal Injection. Gas is possible if Lethal Injection is found unconstitutional.

If you look at the facts, some things are surprising and some are not.

For example, North Dakota does not have the death penalty, but South Dakota does. Hawaii does not have the death penalty, no surprise for a laid-back archipelago in the Pacific ocean. However, all of the West Coast states (Washington, Oregon, and California), DO have the death penalty. These states are known for their laid back, liberal ways. Alaska, the “final frontier” state of rugged independence, does NOT have the death penalty.


32 states have the death penalty and 18 do not.

Of the 26 states that were “blue” states (Democrat) in 2012, 15 do NOT have the death penalty.

Of the 24 states that were “red” states (Republican) in 2012, 21 DO have the death penalty.

Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin all abolished the death penalty over 100 years ago.