Death Penalty

Timeline

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January 1 (Tuesday)  
1636

Massachusetts Bay Colony announces only 13 crimes are legal for death, including witchcraft and idolatry.

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January 1 (Thursday)  
1682

William Penn's Great Act says only the death penalty can occur for murder and treason in Pennsylvania.

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January 1 (Monday)  
17th century

England sentences death for 14 offenses, American colonies force the death penalty for a smaller amount of crimes

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January 1 (Wednesday)  
19th century

Political views and advances in technology increase the acceptance of the use of the death penalty.

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December 2 (Friday)  
December 2,1859

John Brown is hanged for treason for the conspiracy of a murder in Charles Town, VA.

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August 6 (Wednesday)  
August 6,1890

William Kemmler is the first person executed in the electric chair for a murder at New York Auburn Prison.

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January 1 (Monday)  
1900s

A abolition movement leads to numerous state death penalty statues.

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January 1 (Tuesday)  
1907

Kansas is the first state that does not allow the death penalty. 8 states follow this over the next 10 years.

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September 10 (Wednesday)  
September 10,1924

Defense attorney Clarence Darrow wins life sentences instead of death penalty for the Chicago "thrill killers".

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August 22 (Monday)  
August 22,1927

2 Italian immigrants are executed in Mass. for two murders.

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January 1 (Wednesday)  
1930s

167 deaths a year in the U.S. The highest amount so far.

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January 1 (Friday)  
1960s

Doubts in the death penalty leads to decline in executions.

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June 2 (Friday)  
June 2,1967

Luis Jose Monge dies in gas chamber at Colorado State Penitentiary, unofficial moratorium an executions start.

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June 29 (Thursday)  
June 29,1972

Supreme Court Furman v. Georgia death penalty amounts to cruel and unusual punishment under the 8th Amendment.

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July 2 (Friday)  
July 2,1976

States changed the way death penalty sentences are carried out. Supreme Court rules in Gregg v. Georgia that the death penalty is now constitutional  

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January 1 (Saturday)  
1977

Oklahoma is the first state that has the lethal injection.

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January 17 (Monday)  
January 17,1977

Utahs firing squad made Gary Gilmore the first person executed in the last 10 years.

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January 1 (Tuesday)  
1980s

Supreme Court discusses the views on the death penalty.

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January 1 (Wednesday)  
1986

Supreme Court executes insane person in Ford v. Wainwright.

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January 1 (Sunday)  
1989

Perry v. Lynaugh Supreme Court is against executing mentally retarded people. Doesn't violate 8th amendment.

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January 1 (Monday)  
1990s

Death penalty in a huge debate in anti- crime in Congress.

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September 13 (Tuesday)  
September 13,1994

During his second term, President Clinton signs crime bill making over 60 additional crimes eligible for death penalty. 


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February 8 (Wednesday)  
February 8,1995

The House votes 297-132 to limits inmates appeals of the death penalty to a year in state cases.

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March 7 (Tuesday)  
March 7,1995

Governor George E. Pataki brings new death penalty sentence back to New York State  


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February 1 (Saturday)  
February 1997

American Bar Association requests a stoppage to the death penalty until courts can ensure that fairness and due process are followed and with minimum risk of execution of innocent people  



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