Capital punishment has been a feature of the Arizona criminal justice system since 1865, when it was a federal territory. One hundred and eight executions were carried out in Arizona before the national moratorium on executions imposed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1972. Executions were generally carried out by method of hanging until 1934, when the first execution by gas chamber was carried out. Lethal injection became Arizona’s primary method of execution in 1992. However, those sentenced to death before that date may still elect lethal gas as their method of execution.
Due to the Supreme Court’s 1972 decision, Arizona updated its death penalty statues in 1973. From then until 1991, there were no executions in the state. Eight persons have been exonerated and freed from the state’s death row.
CMN State Spotlight – June 2014
“Many in Arizona are seemingly unaware that our state is actively executing. There are efforts underway which seek to replace Arizona’s death penalty with fair, victim-centered and cost-effective alternatives.”