Capital punishment in the United States resumes after a ten-year hiatus, as convicted murderer Gary Gilmore is executed by firing squad in Utah.

Capital punishment in the United States is a legal penalty in 27 states, American Samoa, the federal government, and the military, and is abolished in 23 states. Capital punishment is, in practice, only applied for aggravated murder. Although it is a legal penalty in 27 states, only 21 states have the ability to execute death sentences, with the other six, as well as the federal government, being subject to different types of moratoriums. The existence of capital punishment in the United States can be traced to early colonial Virginia. Along with Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore, the United States is one of four advanced democracies and the only Western nation that applies the death penalty regularly. It is one of 54 countries worldwide applying it, and was the first to develop lethal injection as a method of execution, which has since been adopted by five other countries. The Philippines has since abolished executions, and Guatemala has done so for civil offenses, leaving the United States as one of four countries to still use this method. It is common practice for the condemned to be administered sedatives prior to execution, regardless of the method used.

Capital punishment in the United States resumes after a ten-year hiatus, as convicted murderer Gary Gilmore is executed by firing squad in Utah.

January 17, 1977

Capital punishment in the United States resumes after a ten-year hiatus, as convicted murderer Gary Gilmore is executed by firing squad in Utah.

Capital punishment in the United States is a legal penalty in 27 states, American Samoa, the federal government, and the military, and is abolished in 23 states. Capital punishment is, in practice, only applied for aggravated murder. Although it is a legal penalty in 27 states, only 21 states have the ability to execute death sentences, with the other six, as well as the federal government, being subject to different types of moratoriums. The existence of capital punishment in the United States can be traced to early colonial Virginia. Along with Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore, the United States is one of four advanced democracies and the only Western nation that applies the death penalty regularly. It is one of 54 countries worldwide applying it, and was the first to develop lethal injection as a method of execution, which has since been adopted by five other countries. The Philippines has since abolished executions, and Guatemala has done so for civil offenses, leaving the United States as one of four countries to still use this method. It is common practice for the condemned to be administered sedatives prior to execution, regardless of the method used.