WHERE AND HOW THE STATES EXECUTE

All but one of the 29 jurisdictions that authorize the death penalty in the U.S. are equipped with a designated room where condemned inmates are executed. This is all of them.

Wyoming is the only jurisdiction in the United States that authorizes the death penalty but isn’t equipped with an actual execution chamber. The only execution there was carried out in 1992 in what prison officials reported as a transformed holding cell. The Department of Corrections has stated that they will use the parole meeting room at the Wyoming State Penitentiary in an event of an execution. Although, it doesn’t look like that will be happening any time soon considering the state has no inmates on death row.

All jurisdictions authorize the use of lethal injection, the primary method of execution in the United States. It was developed as a more humane way to put people to death, replacing the electric chair. Some states authorize other methods. The other authorized methods are electrocution, lethal gas, hanging, and firing squad. Hanging and lethal gas are as good as abandoned nowadays, taking into account that the last executions using these methods were in the 1990s.

Lethal gas may see a revival, however. After it was announced that the state of Arizona would continue executions after nearly seven years, attorney general Mark Brnovich pointed out two inmates that could be the next inmates executed in the state. These were Frank Jarvis Atwood and Clarence Wayne Dixon. According to execution laws in Arizona, inmates that are sentenced to death are allowed to elect the gas chamber as their method of execution if the crime they were sentenced to death for was committed before November 23, 1992. Both Atwood and Dixon committed the crimes that they were sentenced to death for before 1992, meaning that they are still fully eligible to elect the gas chamber. No execution dates have been set for the two at the time of writing.

This article was written as inspiration from the 2014 article, “Photos: A Haunting Look at America’s Execution Chambers,” by Jen Kirby on Intelligencer. Although informative, some photos are outdated and do not look like the execution chambers today. Some states weren’t even included in it. As well as that, Virginia was included on the list, but it will not be on this list because of the death penalty abolition in the state back in March. Without further explanation, here is where the states execute.

THE EXECUTION CHAMBERS

All information as of October 28, 2021

*Alternative method if other methods are found to be unconstitutional, otherwise fully able to be elected

ALABAMA

The lethal injection gurney at the Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama, Oct. 2002. COURTESY: Bill Starling, Al.com [May look different due to the recent modification of the execution chamber to be able to carry out lethal gas executions. Pictures have not been made publicly available.]
  • Location: Holman Correctional Facility, Atmore
  • Authorized methods: Lethal injection, electrocution*, lethal gas*
  • Executions since 1976: 68
  • First execution since 1976: April 22, 1983 (electrocution)
  • Last execution: Oct. 21, 2021 (lethal injection)

ARIZONA

The lethal injection gurney, which is placed in the same building as the gas chamber, at the Arizona-state prison complex in Florence, Arizona, undated. COURTESY: Mark Henle, The Republic
  • Location: Arizona-State Prison Complex, Florence
  • Authorized methods: Lethal injection, lethal gas
  • Executions since 1976: 37
  • First execution since 1976: April 6, 1992 (lethal gas)
  • Last execution: July 23, 2014 (lethal injection)

ARKANSAS

The lethal injection gurney at the Cummins Unit in Lincoln County, Arkansas, undated. COURTESY: Arkansas Department of Corrections
  • Location: Cummins Unit, Lincoln County
  • Authorized methods: Lethal injection, electrocution*
  • Executions since 1976: 31
  • First execution since 1976: June 18, 1990 (electrocution)
  • Last execution: April 27, 2017 (lethal injection)

CALIFORNIA (Under moratorium)

The lethal injection gurney at the San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, California, Sept. 2010. COURTESY: Associated Press
  • Location: San Quentin State Prison, San Quentin
  • Authorized methods: Lethal injection, lethal gas
  • Executions since 1976: 13
  • First execution since 1976: April 21, 1992 (lethal gas)
  • Last execution: Jan. 17, 2006 (lethal injection)
  • Under moratorium since: March 13, 2019

FLORIDA

The lethal injection gurney at the Florida State Prison in Raiford, Florida, undated. COURTESY: Doug Smith, Florida Department of Corrections
  • Location: Florida State Prison, Raiford
  • Authorized methods: Lethal injection, electrocution
  • Executions since 1976: 99
  • First execution since 1976: May 25, 1979 (electrocution)
  • Last execution: Aug. 22, 2019 (lethal injection)

GEORGIA

The lethal injection gurney at the Georgia Diagnostic Prison in Jackson, Georgia, undated. COURTESY: Georgia Department of Corrections
  • Location: Georgia Diagnostic Prison, Jackson
  • Authorized methods: Lethal injection
  • Executions since 1976: 76
  • First execution since 1976: Dec. 15, 1983 (electrocution)

Last execution: Jan. 29, 2020 (lethal injection)

IDAHO

The lethal injection gurney at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution in Ada County, Idaho, Oct. 2011. COURTESY: Associated Press
  • Location: Idaho Maximum Security Institution, Ada County
  • Authorized methods: Lethal injection
  • Executions since 1976: 3
  • First execution since 1976: Jan. 6, 1994 (lethal injection)
  • Last execution: June 6, 2012 (lethal injection)

INDIANA

The lethal injection gurney at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City, Indiana, undated (likely in 2020). COURTESY: The Indiana Lawyer
  • Location: Indiana State Prison, Michigan City
  • Authorized methods: Lethal injection
  • Executions since 1976: 20
  • First execution since 1976: March 9, 1981 (electrocution)
  • Last execution: Dec. 11, 2009 (lethal injection)

KANSAS

The lethal injection gurney at the Lansing Correctional Facility in Lansing, Kansas, undated (likely in 2011). COURTESY: The Topeka Capital-Journal
  • Location: Lansing Correctional Facility, Lansing
  • Authorized methods: Lethal injection
  • Executions since 1976: None
  • Last execution: June 22, 1965 (hanging)

KENTUCKY

The lethal injection gurney at the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville, Kentucky, 2004. COURTESY: Stephen Lance Denee, Associated Press
  • Location: Kentucky State Penitentiary, Eddyville
  • Authorized methods: Lethal injection, electrocution
  • Executions since 1976: 3
  • First execution since 1976: July 1, 1997 (electrocution)
  • Last execution: Nov. 21, 2008 (lethal injection)

LOUISIANA

The lethal injection gurney at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana, Jan. 6, 2010. COURTESY: Liz Condo, The Advocate
  • Location: Louisiana State Penitentiary, Angola
  • Authorized methods: Lethal injection
  • Executions since 1976: 28
  • First execution since 1976: Dec. 14, 1983 (electrocution)
  • Last execution: Jan 7, 2010 (lethal injection)

MISSISSIPPI

The lethal injection gurney at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, Mississippi, July 12, 2002. COURTESY: Rogelio Solis, Associated Press
  • Location: Mississippi State Penitentiary, Parchman
  • Authorized methods: Lethal injection, electrocution*, lethal gas*, firing squad*
  • Executions since 1976: 21
  • First execution since 1976: Sept. 2, 1983 (lethal gas)
  • Last execution: June 20, 2012 (lethal injection)

MISSOURI

The lethal injection gurney (covered by a sheet) at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre, Missouri, April 12, 2005. COURTESY: James A. Finley, Associated Press
  • Location: Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center, Bonne Terre
  • Authorized methods: Lethal injection, lethal gas
  • Executions since 1976: 91
  • First execution since 1976: Jan. 6, 1989 (lethal injection)
  • Last execution: Oct. 5, 2021 (lethal injection)

MONTANA

The lethal injection gurney at the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge Deer, Montana, 2006. The trailer that contains the gurney inside the walls of the prison has been demolished, leaving the state of Montana to devise a new design for an execution chamber. COURTESY: The Billings Gazette
  • Location: Montana State Prison, Deer Lodge Deer
  • Authorized methods: Lethal injection
  • Executions since 1976: 3
  • First execution since 1976: May 10, 1995 (lethal injection)
  • Last execution: Aug. 11, 2006 (lethal injection)

NEBRASKA

The lethal injection gurney at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln, Nebraska, undated (likely 2018). COURTESY: Unknown
  • Location: Nebraska State Penitentiary, Lincoln
  • Authorized methods: Lethal injection
  • Executions since 1976: 4
  • First execution since 1976: Sept. 2, 1994 (electrocution)
  • Last execution: Aug. 14, 2018 (lethal injection)

NEVADA

The lethal injection gurney at the Ely State Prison in White Pine County, Nevada, 2016. COURTESY: Unknown.
  • Location: Ely State Prison, White Pine County
  • Authorized methods: Lethal injection
  • Executions since 1976: 12
  • First execution since 1976: Oct. 22, 1979 (lethal gas)
  • Last execution: April 26, 2006 (lethal injection)

NORTH CAROLINA

The multi-purpose execution room at the Central Prison in Raleigh, North Carolina, 1991. It is also used as a gas chamber and lethal injection room. In this photo, the electric chair is shown. COURTESY: Lucinda Devlin, Galerie m Bochum
  • Location: Central Prison, Raleigh
  • Authorized methods: Lethal injection
  • Executions since 1976: 43
  • First execution since 1976: March 16, 1984 (lethal injection)
  • Last execution: Aug. 18, 2006 (lethal injection)

OHIO

The lethal injection gurney at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, Ohio, Nov. 2005. COURTESY: Kiichiro Sato, Associated Press
  • Location: Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, Lucasville
  • Authorized methods: Lethal injection
  • Execution since 1976: 56
  • First execution since 1976: Feb. 19, 1999 (lethal injection)
  • Last execution: July 18, 2018 (lethal injection)

OKLAHOMA

The lethal injection gurney at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Oklahoma, Oct. 26, 2021. COURTESY: Oklahoma Department of Corrections
  • Location: Oklahoma State Penitentiary, McAlester
  • Authorized methods: Lethal injection, electrocution*, lethal gas*, firing squad*
  • Execution since 1976: 113
  • First execution since 1976: Sept. 10, 1990 (lethal injection)
  • Last execution: Oct. 28, 2021 (lethal injection)

OREGON (Under moratorium)

The lethal injection gurney at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem, Oregon, Jan. 27, 2020. COURTESY: Beth Nakamura, The Oregonian
  • Location: Oregon State Penitentiary, Salem
  • Authorized methods: Lethal injection
  • Executions since 1976: 2
  • First execution since 1976: Sept. 6, 1996 (lethal injection)
  • Last execution: May 16, 1997 (lethal injection)
  • Under moratorium since: Nov. 22, 2011

PENNSYLVANIA (Under moratorium)

The lethal injection gurney at the SCI Rockview in Centre County, Pennsylvania, 2000. COURTESY: Unknown
  • Location: SCI Rockview, Centre County
  • Authorized methods: Lethal injection
  • Executions since 1976: 3
  • First execution since 1976: May 2, 1995 (lethal injection)
  • Last execution: July 6, 1999 (lethal injection)
  • Under moratorium since: Feb. 13, 2015

SOUTH CAROLINA

The electric chair at the Broad River Correctional Institution in Columbia, South Carolina, March 2019. Lethal injection is also carried out in this room.
  • Location: Broad River Correctional Institution, Columbia
  • Authorized methods: Lethal injection, electrocution
  • Executions since 1976: 43
  • First execution since 1976: Jan. 11, 1985 (electrocution)
  • Last execution: May 6, 2011 (lethal injection)

SOUTH DAKOTA

The lethal injection gurney at the South Dakota State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, undated (likely 2019). COURTESY: Unknown
  • Location: South Dakota State Penitentiary, Sioux Falls
  • Authorized methods: Lethal injection
  • Executions since 1976: 5
  • First execution since 1976: July 11, 2007 (lethal injection)
  • Last execution: Nov. 4, 2019 (lethal injection)

TENNESSEE

The execution chamber at the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville, Tennessee, 2019. COURTESY: Jae S. Lee, The Tennesseean
  • Location: Riverbend Maximum Security Institution, Nashville
  • Authorized methods: Lethal injection, electrocution*
  • Executions since 1976: 13
  • First execution since 1976: April 19, 2000 (lethal injection)
  • Last execution: Feb. 20, 2020 (electrocution)

TEXAS

The lethal injection gurney at the Huntsville Unit in Huntsville, Texas, undated (likely 2019). COURTESY: Texas Department of Criminal Justice
  • Location: Huntsville Unit, Huntsville
  • Authorized methods: Lethal injection
  • Executions since 1976: 573
  • First execution since 1976: Dec. 7, 1982 (lethal injection)
  • Last execution: Sept. 28, 2021 (lethal injection)

UTAH

The execution chamber at the Utah State Prison in Draper, Utah, Sept. 10, 2009. COURTESY: Tommy Woodard
  • Location: Utah State Prison, Draper
  • Authorized methods: Lethal injection, firing squad*
  • Executions since 1976: 7
  • First execution since 1976: Jan. 17, 1977 (firing squad)
  • Last execution: June 18, 2010 (firing squad)

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT & U.S. MILITARY

The lethal injection gurney at the USP Terre Haute in Terre Haute, Indiana that is used for executions under the Federal Government and the U.S. Military, April 1995. COURTESY: Chuck Robinson, Associated Press
  • Location: USP Terre Haute, Terre Haute, Indiana
  • Authorized methods: Lethal injection
  • Executions since 1976: 16
  • First execution since 1976: June 11, 2001 (lethal injection)
  • Last execution: Jan. 16, 2021 (lethal injection)

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