What states in the United States oppose the death penalty?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This depends to some degree on what we mean by “oppose” the death penalty.  There are 17 states which do not allow it as a matter of law.  There are another 13 states in which no one has been executed for at least five years.  It is clear that a majority of legislators, at least, in the 17 states do not approve of the death penalty.  One could also argue that the other 13 states oppose the death penalty since they do not use it.  The states in which the death penalty is not legal are Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin.