U.S. Government

U.S. Government



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

method employed in the state where the conviction takes place

Current Method
method employed in the state where the conviction takes place; if state has no death penalty, the judge chooses a death penalty state to govern the execution


The Federal Government has a sentence of life without parole.

There have been three executions by the United States government since 2001: Timothy McVeigh from Oklahoma on June 11, 2001, Juan Raul Garza of Texas on June 19, 2001, and Louis Jones, Jr. of Texas on March 18, 2003. The three cases involved one white, one black, and one hispanic male, and all crimes were in the south.

For information on the current population of the Federal Death Row, click here.

A 2000 study by the Department of Justice revealed racial and geographical disparities in the application of the federal death penalty.

In addition to the death penalty laws in many states, the federal government has employed capital punishment for certain federal offenses. In 1972, the United States Supreme Court ruled that all state death penalty statues were unconstitutional because they allowed for arbitrary and capricious application. The federal statute suffered from the same infirmities as the state statutes and no death sentence employing the older federal statutes has been upheld. In 1988, a new federal death penalty statute was enacted for murder in the course of a drug-kingpin conspiracy. In 1994, the federal death penalty was expanded to some 60 different offenses.

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