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Hawaii abolished its use of the death penalty in 1957, while still a territory. When it became a state, Hawaii continued its history of abolition. Prior to 1957, there were 49 total executions with a sole method of hanging. Almost all the executed individuals were minorities such as Native Hawaiian, Chinese, Japanese, or Filipino.
Attempts to reinstate the death penalty have been presented to the state legislature over 15 times but have been unsuccessful.
In 2010, two Hawaiian individuals – housed in a Hawaiian prison facility in Arizona – killed another individual in one of the state’s mainland facilities. The two charged individuals faced the possibility of a death sentence. Despite being Hawaiian prisoners, the crime was committed in Arizona, a state which allowed the death penalty. As of January 2017, the prosecution had withdrawn the possibility of capital punishment from the case.
For more information and ways to get involved, contact your state's organizations:
The Hawaii Catholic Conference is the public policy voice for the Roman Catholic Church in the state of Hawaii.