Recent Legislative Activity

Important pieces of death penalty legislation that have recently passed or are currenty being considered. (DPIC welcomes additions and suggestions.)


Results of the New Jersey Assembly vote on December 13, 2007.
On third reading, abolition of death penalty was passed 44-36.
Legislative News (articles) - Current Year
Legislative News (articles) - 2013  2012   2011   2010   2009  2008
Legislation - 2014
Legislation - Previous Years

2014 - Proposed legislation

State Description Status
Alabama 1. HB 216, SB 194- to streamline appeals (Fair Justice Act)
2. HB 218, SB 193- to allow the death penalty for murder at a school or daycare center
3. SB 244-Eliminate judges power to override a jury's recommendation for a life sentence.
4. HB 379 -Mandate secrecy for lethal injection process
 Session begins Jan. 14. Both 1 & 2 passed House and Senate Judiciary Com.
4. Passed House Judiciary. Passed House (77-19). Amended in Sen. to allow disclosure to judge. DEFEATED in Senate, Apr. 3.
Arizona 1. Bill proposed to expand list of aggravating factors, including causing death when smuggling
2. SCR 1002-Bill to amend constitution, repealing the death penalty
1. Passed in House Judiciary Com. (7-1). Passed House 35-24.
 District Attorneys have proposed a ballot initiative for 2014 that would curtail the appeals process  Financial impact being studied; sponsors would have to gather over 800,000 signatures to place on ballot
Colorado 1. SB 69 would limit death penalty appeals
2. HB 1197 would limit Gov.'s power to grant clemency.

 1.Defeated in committee.

2. Defeated.

Delaware  SB 19: Repeal bill carried over from 2013  
Florida HB 4011 would repeal death penalty  
Georgia  Awaiting GA Sup Ct ruling on secrecy of lethal injection  

1. SB 126 would repeal the death penalty
2. SB 257 to curtail appeals process

 Hearings Jan. 16; now concluded.
2. Passed Senate Judiciary Com. Senate gave preliminary approval Feb. 11.
Kentucky  Bills introduced to repeal death penalty  
Louisiana 1.HB 71 would accelerate appeals
2. HB 328 would reinstate executions by electrocution
3. HB 278 allow death sentence for murder of a prison worker
3. Passed out of committee. Passed House 73-19.
Maryland  1. Following repeal in 2013, proposed budget would include $500,000 to help murder victims' families
2. Bill to reinstate the death penalty for murder of a corrections officer

1. PASSED legislature; part of budget.

2. Defeated in committee 13-8.

Missouri 1. Bill to impose a moratorium on executions
2. Bill to adopt the firing squad for executions
3. Bill to make lethal injection information more public
4. HB 644, SB 247 to repeal death penalty
5. Bill to allow Dept. of Corrections to select method of execution
6. HB 1855 would require faster setting of execution dates
4. Referred to committee.
Nebraska  Repeal bill likely  Short session; bill may not be promoted this year
New Hampshire  HB 1170-Repeal bill - for future offenses

House hearings in Crim. Justice & Pub. Safety Com. Jan. 16. Vote week of Feb. 10. Passed House Crim. Justice Com. Feb. 11 (14-3). Passed House of Rep. on Mar. 12 (225-104).

Hearings in Senate Judic. Com., Apr. 3. Committee voted 2-2, meaning bill will be sent to the Senate, but without a recommendation of passage. Vote likely Apr. 17. On Apr. 10, senator who was absent from committee vote voted for repeal, meaning that repeal was passed 3-2.

North Carolina    
Ohio 1. Moratorium on executions
2. Require governor and prisons' chief to be present for executions
3. HB 385 Repeal bill (introduced in Dec. 2013)
South Carolina    
South Dakota  Repeal bill introduced by Rep. Steve Hickey Defeated in Committee 7-6 (Feb. 20)
Tennessee  HB 2476, SB 2580 would mandate the electric chair if lethal injection is unavailable. House committe passed bill. Senate passed bill 23-3. House passed its bill on April 16 by 68-13. Warden would have to obtain permission from the governor to use the electric chair.
Virginia 1. HB 1052-Bill to establish electric chair as the method of execution if lethal injection drugs can not be found
2. Bill to eliminate any use of the electric chair in VA
 1. Passed House (64-32) on Jan. 22. Moves to Senate. Defeated in Senate (tie). On Feb. 6, on consideration of House bill, returned to committee (21-19), likely defeating the bill.
Washington  Repeal bill SB 1504 from last session likely to be again on the agenda  
West Virginia  HB 2595 would reinstate death penalty  
Wyoming 1. Bill to establish firing squad as method of execution if drugs for lethal injection can't be found
2. HB 134 to repeal death penalty
 1. Defeated in Senate.
2. Defeated.
Federal  Carry over bill from 2013 to repeal federal death penalty  

Legislation - Previous Years:

2013 Legislation
2012 Legislation

2011 Legislation

 For Years Prior to 2007, see below:
Alabama Iowa New Hampshire Texas
Alaska Kansas New Jersey Utah
Arizona Kentucky New Mexico Vermont
Arkansas Louisiana New York Virginia
California Maine North Carolina Washington
Colorado Maryland North Dakota West Virginia
Connecticut Massachusetts Ohio Wisconsin
Delaware Michigan Oklahoma Wyoming
Florida Minnesota Oregon  
Georgia Mississippi Pennsylvania  
Hawaii Missouri Rhode Island  
Idaho Montana South Carolina  
Illinois Nebraska South Dakota  
Indiana Nevada Tennessee *Federal

Other Sources:

2008 Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment

For information on legislative changes proposed or enacted as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Ring v. Arizona, see DPIC's Web page, U.S. Supreme Court: Ring v. Arizona