Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, has become a less frequently used penalty over the years, but it is still in effect in several states.

For the fifth straight year, fewer than 30 people were executed and less than 50 people were sentenced to death in the U.S. last year.

In fact, half of U.S. states have either abolished the death penalty or implemented a temporary prohibition on executions [moratorium], according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

Photo of the electric chair used on Florida's death row (Courtesy, Florida Department of Corrections)

Photo of the electric chair used on Florida’s death row (Courtesy, Florida Department of Corrections) (Florida Department of Corrections)

So which states use the death penalty and what methods are allowed?

States with the death penalty — methods of execution

Alabama — Lethal injection and electrocution.

Arizona — Lethal injection, lethal gas if sentenced before Nov 15, 1992.

Arkansas — Lethal injection, electrocution if sentenced before July 4, 1983.

California (Further executions halted by 2019 moratoria) — Choice of injection or gas.

Colorado (Further executions halted by 2013 moratoria) — Lethal injection.

Florida — Choice of injection or electrocution.

Georgia — Lethal injection.

Idaho — Lethal injection.

Indiana — Lethal injection.

Kansas — Lethal injection.

Kentucky — Lethal injection, electrocution if sentenced before March 31, 1998.

Louisiana — Lethal injection.

Mississippi — Lethal injection.

Missouri — Lethal injection or gas.

Montana — Lethal injection.

Nebraska — Lethal injection.

Nevada — Lethal injection.

North Carolina — Lethal injection.

Ohio — Injection (one drug protocol).

Oklahoma — Lethal injection, electrocution or firing squad (if injection deemed unconstitutional).

Oregon (Further executions halted by 2011 moratoria) — Lethal injection.

Pennsylvania (Further executions halted by 2015 moratoria) — Lethal injection.

South Carolina — Lethal injection or electrocution.

South Dakota — Lethal injection.

Tennessee — Lethal injection, electrocution if sentenced before Dec 31. 1998.

Texas — Lethal injection.

Utah — Lethal injection, firing squad if lethal injection found unconstitutional. Firing squad if sentenced before May 3, 2004.

Virginia — Lethal injection or electrocution.

Wyoming — Lethal injection, gas if lethal injection found unconstitutional.

States without the death penalty












New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Dakota

Rhode Island



West Virginia


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