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Capital punishment has been a feature of the Arizona criminal justice system since 1865, when it was a federal territory. One hundred and four executions were carried out in Arizona before the national moratorium on executions imposed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1972. There have been thirty-four executions since. 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.

For more information and ways to get involved, contact your state's organizations:

Death Penalty Alternatives for Arizona

Death Penalty Alternatives for Arizona is a statewide, grass roots membership organization working to end the death penalty in AZ. Death Penalty Alternatives for Arizona engages in outreach, education, and advocacy aimed at raising awareness of issues related to the death penalty and mobilizing citizens of Arizona, and their elected officials, to support ending the death penalty.

Arizona Catholic Conference

The Arizona Catholic Conference is the public policy agency for the Diocese of Gallup, the Diocese of Phoenix, the Diocese of Tucson and the Holy Protection of Mary Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Phoenix.

Arizona Capital Representation Project

By Amy Armstrong, Staff Counsel/Director, Arizona Capital Representation Project The Arizona Capital Representation Project (ACRP) is a non-profit legal resource center dedicated to improving the quality of representation afforded to capital defendants in Arizona.


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