Apr 28, 2017

4 legal alternatives to lethal injection in the US

Dave Martin / AP

This afternoon, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said he would not call for an investigation into lethal injection procedures, despite yesterday's execution when the prisoner convulsed for several minutes, according to eye witnesses. (Why Arkansas rushed several executions this week, here.)

Despite recent botched executions and problems getting the drugs, lethal injection is the primary means of execution in the 31 states that impose the death penalty. However, several states offer alternative methods of execution. Here they are in order of popularity, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

1. Electrocution

  • # of executions since 1976: 158
  • Legal in: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia
  • Time until death: 2-15+ minutes, according to NBC News
  • Why it phased out: There were two negatively publicized executions in the late '90s — one prisoner's head burst into flames and photos of another's bloody face post-execution surfaced online.

2. Gas Chamber

  • # of executions since 1976: 11
  • Legal in: Arizona, California, Missouri, Wyoming and Oklahoma
  • Time until death: 10-18 minutes

3. Hanging

  • # of executions since 1976: 3
  • Legal in: Delaware, New Hampshire and Washington
  • Time until death: 4-11 minutes

4. Firing squad

  • # of executions since 1976: 3
  • Legal in: Oklahoma, Utah
  • Time until death: Less than a minute

Worldwide: Despite it's low ranking in the U.S., hanging is the most popular execution method world-wide, followed by firing squad, beheading, lethal injection and electrocution, according to Al Jazeera. The U.S. is the only country to use electrocution.

Go deeper

Updated 28 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 6,800,604 — Total deaths: 396,591 — Total recoveries — 2,785,268Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 1,908,235 — Total deaths: 109,443 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight coronavirus Fauci: "Very concerned" about spread of virus amid George Floyd protests — Cities offer free testing for protesters.
  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model as use of robots accelerates.
  5. Business: Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus
  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.

George Floyd updates

A protester holds a placard reading "Covid kills People, Racism kills Communities" as they attend a demonstration in Manchester, northern England, on June 6, to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. Photo: Paul Ellis/Contributor.

Thousands are gathering for a day of protests in Washington, D.C., almost two weeks after George Floyd's killing. Protesters in Australia and Europe staged anti-racism demonstrations on Saturday as well.

What's happening: A memorial service for Floyd is taking place in Raeford, North Carolina — near where he was born. Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all flags to fly at half-staff to honor Floyd until sunset. Thousands of demonstrators have gathered in Philadelphia and Chicago.

Buffalo police officers arrested after shoving 75-year-old protester

Photo: Mike Desmond/WBFO via AP

Two Buffalo police officers were charged with assault on Saturday after a video emerged of them shoving a 75-year-old protester while clearing a demonstration in the wake of George Floyd's killing, AP reports, citing prosecutors.

The state of play: Both officers pleaded not guilty to second-degree assault, and were released without bail. After the law enforcement officers were initially suspended without pay on Friday, all 57 officers on the Buffalo Police Department's Emergency Response Team resigned in a show of support for their fellow officers' suspensions.