Capital punishment in Wyoming

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Capital punishment is legal in the U.S. state of Wyoming.

Current practices[edit]

Capital crimes[edit]

First-degree murder is the only capital crime in Wyoming.[1] There are 11 aggravating factors.[2]

A person convicted of first-degree murder may be sentenced instead to life in prison without parole.[1]

As in any other state, people who are under 18 at the time of commission of the capital crime [3] or mentally retarded[4] are constitutionally precluded from being executed.

Death row and clemency process[edit]

Death row for men is located at the Wyoming State Penitentiary in Rawlins, and the location for women is at the Wyoming Women's Center in Lusk. As of February 2015, no one is awaiting execution.[5]

Only the Governor of Wyoming may grant commutation of a death sentence. Since 1977, no commutation has been granted.[6]

Method of executions[edit]

Lethal injection is the sole method of execution. Gas chamber, however, is a backup method if lethal injection should ever be found unconstitutional.[7] Firing squad reinstatment has failed in early 2015.[8]

History and list of executions[edit]

Wyoming has never executed a woman.[9]

Seven men were executed prior to Wyoming becoming a State on July 10, 1890:

Executed person Date of execution Method Crime
1 John Boyer 21 April 1871 hanging murder
2 William Tousant Kensler 19 November 1874 hanging murder
3 Leroy Donovan 18 January 1884 hanging murder and robbery
4 George Cooke 12 December 1884 hanging murder
5 John Owens 5 March 1886 hanging murder and robbery
6 Benjamin Carter 26 January 1888 hanging murder
7 George Black 26 February 1890 hanging murder

Eighteen men were executed by the state of Wyoming between its statehood and the Supreme Court ban on executions in 1972:

Executed person Date of execution Method Crime
1 Charles Miller 22 April 1892 hanging murder and robbery
2 Frank Howard 7 December 1894 hanging murder
3 James Keffer 24 September 1902 hanging murder and robbery
4 Thomas Horn 20 November 1903 hanging murder
5 Joseph Seng 24 May 1912 hanging murder
6 Warren Jenkins 14 November 1913 hanging murder
7 Willard Flanders 16 June 1916 hanging murder
8 Wilmer Palmer 11 August 1916 hanging murder
9 Oscar White 20 October 1916 hanging murder
10 Yee Geow 11 March 1921 hanging murder
11 George Brownfield 10 March 1930 hanging murder
12 Charles Aragon 14 May 1930 hanging murder
13 Talton Taylor 11 May 1933 hanging murder
14 Perry Carroll 13 August 1937 gas chamber murder
15 Stanley Lantzer 19 April 1940 gas chamber murder
16 Cleveland Brown, Jr. 17 November 1944 gas chamber murder and rape
17 Andrew Pixley 10 December 1965 gas chamber murder

Wyoming enacted its post-Furman death penalty statute on February 28, 1977.[10] One man has been executed in the state of Wyoming since then:

Executed person Race Date of execution Method Murder victim(s) Under Governor
1 Mark Hopkinson White 22 January 1992 lethal injection Vincent Vehar, Beverly Vehar, John Vehar, and Jeffrey Green Mike Sullivan

One federal execution has taken place in Wyoming:

Executed person Date of execution Crime Method Under President
Henry Ruhl 27 April 1945 Murder on a Government Reservation Gas chamber Harry S. Truman

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Crimes Punishable by the Death Penalty - Death Penalty Information Center". Deathpenaltyinfo.org. Retrieved 28 June 2016. 
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 22, 2008. Retrieved May 5, 2008. 
  3. ^ Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005)
  4. ^ Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002)
  5. ^ "Firing Squad and Gas Chamber Closer to Reality in Three States - NBC News". Nbcnews.com. Retrieved 28 June 2016. 
  6. ^ "Clemency - Death Penalty Information Center". Deathpenaltyinfo.org. Retrieved 28 June 2016. 
  7. ^ "Methods of Execution - Death Penalty Information Center". Deathpenaltyinfo.org. Retrieved 28 June 2016. 
  8. ^ "Firing Squad Bill Fails", Wyoming Public Media Statewide Network. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 16, 2008. Retrieved April 19, 2008. 
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 23, 2015. Retrieved June 15, 2015.