Capital punishment in North Dakota
Capital punishment was abolished in the U.S. state of North Dakota in 1973. Historically a total of 8 people have been executed in North Dakota, including one execution prior to North Dakota attaining statehood.
According to the North Dakota Penal Code, the imposing of sentences was handed to a jury, with the suggested punishment for first-degree murder being death by hanging or life imprisonment. Until 1903 executions were carried out in public. The first private execution was that of John Rooney, who was hanged inside the Cass County prison on 17 October 1905. Rooney was the last person executed in North Dakota. In 1915 the death penalty was abolished for ordinary murder, commuting the death sentence of Joe Milo, who was convicted of double murder in course of a robbery. It remained for treason and murder committed by an inmate already serving a life sentence, however, nobody was executed for these offences until the death penalty was finally abolished in 1973.
No federal executions have ever taken place in North Dakota. On February 8, 2007 Alfonso Rodriguez, Jr. was sentenced to death for the murder of Dru Sjodin and is now the only person on federal death row for a crime committed in North Dakota.
List of individuals executed in North Dakota
|#||Name||Date of execution||Method of execution||Victim(s)||Governor|
|1||George Miller||October 30, 1885||hanging||Abbie Snell and her son Herbert||Gilbert A. Pierce|
|2||Albert Bomberger||January 19, 1894||hanging||Daniel Kreider, his wife Barbara and their children Bernice, Melby, Mary and David||Eli C. D. Shortridge|
|3||James W. Cole||March 24, 1899||hanging||Sophronia Ford||Frederick B. Fancher|
|4||Hans Thorpe||September 14, 1900||hanging||His wife Ida|
|5||Ira O. Jenkins||September 14, 1900||hanging||August Stark|
|6||Jacob Bassanella||February 20, 1903||hanging||Anton Heilinger||Frank White|
|7||William R. Ross||December 5, 1903||hanging||Thomas Walsh|
|8||John Rooney||17 October 1905||hanging||Harold Sweet||Elmore Y. Sarles|
- Frank Vyzralek, Capital crimes and criminals executed in northern Dakota Territory and North Dakota, 1885–1905", 2000-10-19