Year of Reenactment
(since 1972 suspension)
Year of First Execution
(since reenactment)

1872-1936: hanging

1937-1991: lethal gas

1992-present: lethal gas or lethal injection

Current Method
Inmate choice of lethal injection or lethal gas.


California has life without parole.  A jury decides the sentence.  The Governor has the exclusive authority to grant clemency, unless the prisoner has twice been convicted of a felony; in that case, a recommendation of the State Supreme Court with four justices concurring is necessary. No clemencies have been granted since Furman.

California executed a foreign national, Jaturun Siripongs from Thailand, despite pleas for clemency from that country.  California also executed Manuel Babbitt, a former Marine who had been given one of the country's highest medals for being wounded in action.  Babbitt suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome after his service in Vietnam.

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