U.S. Supreme Court to Address Death Penalty Ruling

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

The U.S. Supreme Court says it will clear up any confusion over the impact of its ruling that juries, not judges, must have final say in who gets the death penalty.

The justices agreed to decide perhaps as early as June whether inmates already on death row can use the ruling to argue that they deserve a lesser punishment.

It was unclear at the time of the earlier case whether it would apply retroactively to potentially hundreds of death row inmates who were sentenced by judges.

Last year's ruling forced changes in the death penalty laws of Arizona, Montana, Idaho, Nebraska and Colorado, because those states left it to judges to determine if a particular convicted killed should be executed.

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States With No Death Penalty

  • Alaska
  • District of Columbia
  • Hawaii
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • North Dakota
  • Pennsylvania
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Stats on Executions

  • 802 - Total number of executions since the 1976 reinstatement of capital punishment.

  • 9 - Number of female defendants that have been executed since 1976.

  • 454 - Number of white defendants executed.

  • 278 - Number of black defendants executed.

  • 52 - Number of Latino defendants executed.

  • 13 - Number of Native American defendants executed.

  • 5 - Number of Asian defendants executed.

  • 53 - Number of executions in 2002.

Most states use lethal injection as the mode of execution, but there are some variations:

  • Alabama: Lethal injection or choice of electrocution.

  • Arizona: Lethal injection of choice of gas chamber for those sentenced before 11/92

  • Arkansas: Lethal injection of choice of electrocution for those sentenced before 3/4/83

  • California: Lethal injection

  • Colorado: Lethal injection

  • Connecticut: Lethal injection

  • Delaware: Lethal injection or choice of hanging for those sentenced before 6/13/86

  • Florida: Lethal injection of choice of electrocution for those sentenced before 1/14/00

  • Georgia: Lethal injection

  • Idaho: Lethal injection or firing squad

  • Illinois: Lethal injection

  • Indiana: Lethal injection

  • Kansas: Lethal injection

  • Kentucky: Lethal injection or choice of electrocution for those sentenced before 6/1/98

  • Louisiana: Lethal injection

  • Maryland: Lethal injection of choice of gas chamber for those sentenced before 3/11/94

  • Mississippi: Lethal injection

  • Missouri: Lethal injection

  • Montana: Lethal injection

  • Nebraska: Electrocution

  • Nevada: Lethal injection

  • New Jersey: Lethal injection

  • New Mexico: Lethal injection

  • New York: Lethal Injection

  • North Carolina: Lethal injection

  • Ohio: Lethal injection

  • Oklahoma: Lethal injection

  • Oregon: Lethal injection

  • Pennsylvania: Lethal injection

  • South Carolina: Lethal injection

  • South Dakota: Lethal injection

  • Tennessee: Lethal injection of choice of electrocution for those sentenced before 1/1/99

  • Texas: Lethal injection

  • Utah: Firing squad or lethal injection

  • Virginia: Electrocution or lethal injection

  • Washington: Hanging or choice of lethal injection

  • Wyoming: Lethal injection

  • U.S. Government: Lethal injection

  • U.S. Military: Lethal injection

Source: http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org (The Death Penalty Information Center Web site) contributed to this report.


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