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Methods of Execution
(click the state to get specific information about the methods authorized)
|Lethal Injection||1241||32 states + U.S. Military and U.S. Gov't||
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico*, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming, U.S. Military, U.S. Government
*New Mexico abolished the death penalty but their repeals do not apply retroactively, leaving inmates on death row.
To find the drug protocols used by states, see State-by-State Lethal Injection.
|Electrocution||158||8 states (all have lethal injection as primary method). Tenn. would impose the electric chair if lethal injection drugs cannot be obtained.||
The supreme courts of Georgia (2001) and Nebraska (2008) have ruled that the use of the electric chair violates their state constitutional prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment.
|Gas Chamber||11||5 states (all have lethal injection as primary method)||Arizona, California, Missouri, [Wyoming], [Oklahoma] UPDATE: On April 17, 2015, Okla. Gov. Mary Fallin signed legislation allowing the state to use nitrogen gas as a form of execution if either the drugs for lethal injection are unavailable or if lethal injection is struck down by the courts.|
|Hanging||3||3 states (all have lethal injection as primary method)||Delaware, New Hampshire, Washington|
|Firing Squad||3||2 states (all have lethal injection as primary method)||
Oklahoma offers firing squad only if lethal injection and electrocution are found unconstitutional.
NOTE: states in [brackets] authorize the listed method only if a current method is found unconstitutional (see state description, below, for more information).
(Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, Capital Punishment 2011; updated by DPIC)