Hanging was a common method for performing the death penalty in states. However, it is no longer a common practice. Delaware offered hanging as an alternative method of death for prisoners until 2003 when the gallows were dismantled and inmates could no longer choose this alternative. Washington also allowed hangings by inmate request until the Washington Supreme Court found the death penalty unconstitutional in 2018.
In New Hampshire. Inmates may be hanged if the connections commissioner “finds it impractical” to use lethal injection. While New Hampshire abolished capital punishment in 2019, inmates who were already on death row may still face execution.
The death penalty is only carried out for crimes deemed capital offenses. These crimes include treason, genocide, war crimes, espionage, and murder. Nobody has been sentenced to death for a crime other than murder since the Supreme Court reinstituted capital punishment in 1976. But 27 states allow for a person to be executed if they’re guilty of murder, even if they weren’t directly liable for the death.
Michigan was the first state to abolish the death penalty in 1847 for all crimes except treason. Reasons: religious leaders considered the death penalty as non-christian. States like Wisconsin and Maine embraced Michigan’s move. Wisconsin became the only US state that has only carried out one execution throughout America’s history.
There are also firing squads. Utah took the same tack as South Carolina in 2015, allowing the squads as a backup execution approach. Firing squads are also legal in Oklahoma and Mississippi. Utah’s three executions have been carried out by firing squad, with the most recent in 2010.
|District of Columbia||Illegal|
|New Hampshire||Legal||New Hampshire abolished the death penalty but the repeal may not apply retroactively, leaving a prisoner on death row facing possible execution.|