- Educational Curricula
- Executions Database
- Law Review
- New Voices
- Public Opinion
- Related Web Sites
- State by State Database
- State Information
- Student Resources
- Testimony, Resolutions, Statements & Speeches
- Weekly Newsletter
- Death Penalty Quiz
- More Resources
States With and Without the Death Penalty
|STATES WITH THE DEATH PENALTY (30)||
Other State Information:
- U.S. Gov't
- U.S. Military
|STATES WITHOUT THE DEATH PENALTY (20) (YEAR ABOLISHED OR OVERTURNED IN PARENTHESES)|
New Jersey (2007)
New Mexico (2009)*
New York (2007)^^
North Dakota (1973)
Rhode Island (1984)^
West Virginia (1965)
Dist. of Columbia (1981)
|DEATH PENALTY STATES WITH GUBERNATORIAL MORATORIA (4)|
^ In 1979, the Supreme Court of Rhode Island held that the state's statute imposing a mandatory death sentence for an inmate who killed a fellow prisoner was unconstitutional. The legislature repealed the law and removed it from the state criminal code in 1984.
^^ In 2004, the New York Court of Appeals held that a portion of the state's death penalty law was unconstitutional. In 2007, the court ruled that its prior holding applied to the last remaining person on the state's death row. The legislature has voted down attempts to restore the statute.
* In March 2009, New Mexico voted to abolish the death penalty. However, the repeal was not retroactive, leaving two people on the state's death row.
** In April 2012, the Connecticut legislature voted to abolish the death penalty for future crimes. By its terms, the repeal law did not affect the status of the 11 prisoners then on the state's death row. The Connecticut Supreme Court subsequently ruled in August 2015 that the death penalty violated the state constitution. The Court reaffirmed that holding in May 2016 and reiterated that the state's remaining death row prisoners must be resentenced to life without possibility of parole.
*** In May 2015, the Nebraska legislature voted to abolish the death penalty and overrode a gubernatorial veto of the repeal bill. Death penalty proponents subsequently submitted sufficient signatures to suspend the repeal pending the outcome of a voter referendum in November 2016. The status of the 10 prisoners on the state's death row should the repeal survive the voter referendum is uncertain.
# On August 2, 2016, the Delaware Supreme Court held that the state's capital sentencing procedures were unconstitutional and struck down Delaware's death penalty statute. On August 15, the Delaware Attorney General's office announced that it will not appeal the Supreme Court's ruling. Whether the Supreme Court's decision applies to the 13 people facing active death sentences is still unknown.