District of Columbia


Year of Abolition

1802-1941: hanging
1942-1981: electrocution


The first recorded execution in Washington, D.C. was the hanging of James McGirk in 1802.

Mary Surratt, the only woman executed in D.C., was hanged by the U.S. military in 1865 for conspiring to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln.

The District's death penalty was nullified by the Supreme Court decision in Furman v. Georgia in 1972 and repealed by the D.C. Council in 1981. District residents voted 2-1 against the death penalty in a 1992 referendum ordered by Congress.

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