Capital punishment by the United States federal government: Wikis

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Executions by the federal government are carried out at the Terre Haute Federal Correctional Complex. The picture is of a gurney on which prisoners rest during an execution by lethal injection.

This is a list of individuals executed by the United States. The United States federal government (in comparison to the separate states) applies the death penalty for certain crimes: treason, espionage, federal murder, large scale drug trafficking and attempting to kill a witness, juror, or court officer in certain cases. Military law allows execution of soldiers for several crimes. Executions by the federal government have been rare compared to those by state governments. Twenty-six federal (including military) executions have been carried out since 1950. Three of those (none of them military) have occurred in the modern post-Gregg era. This list only includes those executed under federal jurisdiction. Fifty-five people are on the federal death row at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana as of November 23, 2007.

Contents

History

The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 restored the death penalty under federal law for drug offenses and some types of murder. President Clinton signed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act expanding the federal death penalty in 1994. In response to the Oklahoma City bombing, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 was passed in 1996. Federal Correctional Complex, Terre Haute became the only federal prison to hold and execute people.

Timothy McVeigh was executed on June 11, 2001 for his involvement in the Oklahoma City bombing. It was the first federal execution since 1963. Other executions by the United States include Juan Raul Garza on June 19, 2001 and Louis Jones Jr. on March 18, 2003. Sentences of death are now handed down by the jury, and the jury's decision is read and approved or disapproved by the judge. No recommendation for the death penalty from a jury has yet been refused by the judge at sentencing.

Fifty-five people are currently on the federal death row. Two people have been re-sentenced since 1976 to life in prison and one was commuted to life in prison by President Bill Clinton in 2001.

Capital offenses

These are the offenses punishable by death or another punishment in the United States Code:

  • Causing death by using a chemical weapon
  • Killing a member of the Congress, the Cabinet or United States Supreme Court
  • Kidnapping a member of the Congress, the Cabinet or Supreme Court resulting in death
  • Conspiracy to kill a member of the Congress, the Cabinet or Supreme Court resulting in death
  • Espionage
  • Causing death by using an explosive
  • Causing death by using an illegal firearm
  • Genocide
  • First degree murder
    • Murder perpetrated by poison or lying in wait
    • Murder that is willful, deliberate, malicious, and premeditated
    • Murder in the perpetration of or in the attempt to perpetrate any arson, escape, kidnapping, treason, espionage, sabotage, aggravated sexual abuse or sexual abuse, child abuse, burglary, or robbery
    • Murder perpetrated as part of a pattern or practice of assault or torture against a child or children
  • Murder committed by a federal prisoner or an escaped federal prisoner sentenced to 15 years to life or a more severe penalty
  • Assassinating the President or a member of his staff
  • Kidnapping the President or a member of his staff resulting in death
  • Killing persons aiding Federal investigations or State correctional officers
  • Sexual abuse resulting in death
  • Sexual exploitation of children resulting in death
  • Torture resulting in death
  • Treason
  • War crimes resulting in death
  • Large-scale drug trafficking

Method

Federal law requires that the method of execution be that which is used by the state in which the crime was committed. The judge may select the method used by another state if the capital offense was committed in a state without the death penalty. All federal executions since 1976 have been by lethal injection.

Recent civilian executions

Twenty-six federal (including military) executions have been carried since 1950.[1][2] Three of those (none of them military) have occurred in the modern post-Gregg era. This list only includes those executed under federal jurisdiction. Since 1963, three people have been executed by the federal government of the United States. All were executed by lethal injection.

Executed person Date Crime State where crime occurred President
1 Timothy McVeigh June 11, 2001 murder of eight federal employees through the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. (See Oklahoma City bombing.) Oklahoma G. W. Bush
2 Juan Raul Garza June 19, 2001 murder of Thomas Albert Rumbo, ordering the murders of Gilberto Matos, Erasmo De La Fuente, Antonio Nieto, Bernabe Sosa, Diana Flores Villareal, Oscar Cantu, and Fernando Escobar Garcia in conjunction with a drug-smuggling ring Texas G. W. Bush
3 Louis Jones, Jr. March 18, 2003 rape and murder of Pvt. Tracie McBride Texas G. W. Bush

Earlier civilian executions

Between 1950 and 1963, 13 people were executed (not counting those executed under military law):[1][2]

Executed person Method of execution Offense Date of Execution Location Note
James Alderman hanging murder August 17, 1929 Broward County Jail, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Carl Panzram hanging murder September 5, 1930 United States Penitentiary (USP), Leavenworth, Kansas
George Barrett hanging murder March 24, 1936 Marion County Jail, Indiana The first person to receive the death penalty by hanging under a congressional act that made it a capital offense to kill a federal agent.[3]
Arthur Gooch hanging kidnapping June 19, 1936 Oklahoma State Penitentiary, McAlester, Oklahoma
Earl Gardner hanging murder July 12, 1936 Gila County Jail, Arizona
Anthony Chebatoris hanging National Bank Robbery July 8, 1938 Federal Correctional Institution (FCI), Milan, Michigan
Henry Seadlund electrocution kidnapping July 14, 1938 Cook County Jail, Illinois
Robert Suhay hanging murder August 12, 1938 United States Penitentiary (USP), Leavenworth, Kansas
Glenn Applegate hanging murder August 12, 1938 United States Penitentiary (USP), Leavenworth, Kansas
James Dalhover electrocution bank robbery and murder November 18, 1938 Indiana State Prison, Michigan City, Indiana

Nelson Charles

hanging murder November 10, 1939 Federal Jail, Juneau, Alaska
Herbert Hans Haupt,
Heinrich Heinck,
Edward Kerling,
Herman Neubauer,
Richard Quirin,
Werner Thiel
electrocution sabotage August 8, 1942 D.C. Jail, Washington, D.C. Tried by a military commission appointed by President Roosevelt on July 8, 1942.
Clyde Arwood electrocution murder August 14, 1943 Tennessee State Prison, Nashville, Tennessee
Henry Ruhl gas chamber murder on a government reservation April 27, 1945 Wyoming State Penitentiary, Rawling, Wyoming
Austin Nelson hanging murder March 1, 1948 Federal Jail, Juneau, Alaska
David Joseph Watson electrocution murder on the high seas September 15, 1948 Florida State Prison, Raiford, Florida
Samuel Richard Shockley gas chamber murder December 3, 1948 California State Penitentiary, San Quentin, California
Miran Edgar Thompson gas chamber murder December 3, 1948 California State Penitentiary, San Quentin, California
Carlos Romero Ochoa gas chamber murder December 10, 1948 California State Penitentiary, San Quentin, California
Eugene LaMoore hanging murder April 14, 1950 Federal Jail, Juneau, Alaska
Fred Pritchertt electrocution murder February 15, 1952 Washington, D.C.
William Tyler Jr. electrocution murder July 25, 1952 Washington, D.C.
Albert Allen electrocution murder/robbery March 20, 1953 Washington, D.C.
Julius Rosenberg electrocution espionage June 19, 1953 New York State Prison, Sing Sing, New York
Ethel Rosenberg electrocution espionage June 19, 1953 New York State Prison, Sing Sing, New York female
Carl Austin Hall gas chamber kidnapping and murder December 18, 1953 Missouri State Penitentiary, Jefferson City, Missouri
Bonnie Brown Heady gas chamber murder December 18, 1953 Missouri State Penitentiary, Jefferson City, Missouri female
Gerhard Puff electrocution murder August 12, 1954 New York State Prison, Sing Sing, New York
Arthur Ross Brown gas chamber kidnapping February 24, 1956 Missouri State Penitentiary, Jefferson City, Missouri
Robert Carter electrocution murder August 21, 1957 Washington, D.C.
George Krull electrocution kidnapping August 21, 1957 Georgia State Prison, Reidsville, Georgia
Michael Krull electrocution rape August 21, 1957 Georgia State Prison, Reidsville, Georgia
Victor Feguer hanging kidnapping March 15, 1963 Iowa State Penitentiary, Fort Madison, Iowa

From 1790 to 1950, there were 327 Federal, 271 Territorial and 40 Indian Tribunal executions according to the most complete records.[4] One of those was the execution of James Arcene on June 18, 1885, when he was 23 years old, for his role in a robbery and murder committed when he was 10 years old.

Presidential assassins

Execution of Mary Surratt, Lewis Powell, David Herold, and George Atzerodt on July 7, 1865 at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C.
Executed person Date of execution Method President Assassinated Under President
George Atzerodt July 7, 1865 hanging Abraham Lincoln Andrew Johnson
David Herold July 7, 1865 hanging Abraham Lincoln Andrew Johnson
Lewis Powell July 7, 1865 hanging Abraham Lincoln Andrew Johnson
Mary Surratt July 7, 1865 hanging Abraham Lincoln Andrew Johnson
Charles J. Guiteau June 30, 1882 hanging James Garfield Chester A. Arthur

The assassinations of Lincoln and Garfield were prosecuted by the federal government because they took place in the District of Columbia. The assassin of William McKinley, Leon Czolgosz was tried and executed for murder by New York state authorities. The accused assassin of John F. Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald would presumably have been tried for murder by Texas state authorities had he not been killed by Jack Ruby. Only after Kennedy's death was it made a federal crime to murder the President of the United States.

Military executions

The United States military has executed 135 people since 1916. The last execution was in 1961.

  • U.S. Army Private John A. Bennett on April 13, 1961 for rape and attempted murder.

Since 1865 (American Civil War) only one person has been executed for a purely military offense.

  • Private Eddie Slovik, January 31, 1945, convicted of desertion

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Federal Executions 1927-2003. Death Penalty Information Center. Retrieved on 16 October 2008.
  2. ^ a b The Federal Death Penalty. Death Row Speaks. Retrieved on 20 October 2008.
  3. ^ Barrett's Execution. George W. Barrett (-1936). Retrieved on 12 November 2008.
  4. ^ 340 Federal, 271 Territorial and 40 Indian Tribunal Executions 1790 to 1963. Retrieved on 20 October 2008.

Text of Laws

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