What method of executions are used by each state in the United States?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is only one method of execution that is authorized for use in every American state that has the death penalty.  That method is lethal injection.  Lethal injection has become the authorized form of execution because it is seen as the most humane and, therefore, the least likely to be struck down as unconstitutional by courts.

All states in the United States that have the death penalty have lethal injection as their primary method of execution.  However, there are states that allow condemned prisoners to choose other methods.  There are eight states that allow the prisoner to opt for electrocution.  These states are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.  There are four states in which the gas chamber could be used in various circumstances.  These are Arizona, California, Missouri and Wyoming.  New Hampshire and Washington both allow hanging in some circumstances.  Oklahoma would allow a firing squad if both electrocution and lethal injection are found to be unconstitutional.

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