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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

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

Scoop: Google is investigating the actions of another top AI ethicist

Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Photo by Mateusz Wlodarczyk/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Google is investigating recent actions by Margaret Mitchell, who helps lead the company's ethical AI team, Axios has confirmed.

Why it matters: The probe follows the forced exit of Timnit Gebru, a prominent researcher also on the AI ethics team at Google whose ouster ignited a firestorm among Google employees.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Joe Biden's COVID-19 bubble

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The incoming administration is planning extraordinary steps to protect its most prized commodity, Joe Biden, including requiring daily employee COVID tests and N95 masks at all times, according to new guidance sent to some incoming employees Tuesday.

Why it matters: The president-elect is 78 years old and therefore a high risk for the virus and its worst effects, despite having received the vaccine. While President Trump's team was nonchalant about COVID protocols — leading to several super-spreader episodes — the new rules will apply to all White House aides in "high proximity to principals."

Justice Department drops insider trading inquiry against Sen. Richard Burr

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) walking through the Senate Subway in the U.S. Capitol in December 2020. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Department of Justice told Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on Tuesday that it will not move forward with insider trading charges against him.

Why it matters: The decision, first reported by the New York Times, effectively ends the DOJ's investigation into the senator's stock sell-off that occurred after multiple lawmakers were briefed about the coronavirus' potential economic toll. Burr subsequently stepped down as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.