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

1860-1912: hanging

1913-1989: electrocution

1990-present: lethal injection

Current Method
Lethal injection


Pennsylvania has life without parole.  A jury decides the sentence.  The Governor must have the recommendation of the State Board of Pardons before granting clemency.

Pennsylvania has had more exonerations (6) than executions (3).

Over two-thirds of those on Pennsylvania's death row are members of minorities.  More than half of the death row inmates are from one city, Philadelphia, even though Philadelphia has only about 14% of the state's population.  A comprehensive study of race and the death penalty in Philadelphia by renowned researcher David Baldus of the University of Iowa in 1998 found that blacks faced odds of receiving a death sentence which were 3.9 times higher than others who committed similar crimes.

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