THE United States remains one of the very few Western democracies that executes some criminals, with almost 3,000 inmates currently on death row.
On average, each convict will spend 15 years waiting to be executed — with almost a quarter dying of natural causes before they are given the lethal injection. Here’s the details…
How many US states have the death penalty?
As many as 31 US states have the death penalty in the United States.
There have been almost 1,500 executions in American since 1976, with two in January 2018 taking the figure to 1,468.
It is believed Britain influenced America’s use of the death penalty more than any other country, with the first recorded execution of Captain George Kendall in the Jamestown colony of Virginia in 1608.
The states that do not have the death penalty include: Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and District of Columbia.
But for those who are found guilty in the states with the death penalty, they face waiting an average of 178 months between sentencing and execution.
Which US states have the death penalty?
- New Hampshire
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
What could happen to two of the ISIS ‘Beatles’?
The US wants to put Alexanda Kotey and Shafee El-Sheikh on trial for murdering two Brits and three Americans.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said in a letter to the US Attorney General Jeff Sessions he said he did not require any assurances on the death penalty should the men be found guilty.
The men are currently being held by the Syrian Democratic Forces and could be transferred to the US.
When was the death penalty abolished in the UK?
The last people to be sentenced to death in Britain were Peter Anthony Allen and Gwynne Owen Evans – real name John Robson Walby – in 1964.
They had knifed a friend to death for money. The executions took place simultaneously at 8am on August 13.
Public anger about previous wrongful executions led to their suspension in 1965 and they were abolished in 1969.
Technically, the death penalty could still be imposed for offences including treason, violent piracy or certain military crimes until 1998, but no executions took place.
Former UKIP leader Paul Nuttall said in 2016 that he wanted a referendum on bringing back the death penalty.
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What is the lethal injection?
All US states that have the death penalty use lethal injection as their primary method of execution, but protocols differ from state to state.
Some use one drug while others use a cocktail of two or three.
The three-drug protocol uses an anaesthetic or sedative, usually followed by pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride.
This paralyses the inmate and then stops their heart.
Florida convict Mark Asay was executed on August 24, 2017, with a mix using the anaesthetic etomidate for the first time.