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Note: Italics indicate countries where capital punishment has not been used in the last ten years or that have a moratorium in effect.
|Methods still in use|
|Methods no longer in use|
Death row, in English-speaking countries that have capital punishment, is the place, often a section of a prison, that houses prisoners awaiting execution. The term is also used figuratively to describe the state of awaiting execution ("being on death row"), even in places where no special facility or separate unit for condemned inmates exists. After persons are found guilty of an offense and sentenced to death, they remain on death row during appeal and habeas corpus procedures, and if those are unsuccessful, until execution.
Opponents of capital punishment claim that a prisoner's isolation and uncertainty over his or her fate constitute a form of mental cruelty and that especially long-time death row inmates are liable to become mentally ill, if they are not already. This is referred to as the death row phenomenon. In extreme cases some inmates may attempt to commit suicide.
In the United States, prisoners may wait years before execution can be carried out due to the complex and time-consuming appeals procedures mandated in the jurisdiction. The time between sentencing and execution has increased relatively steadily between 1977 and 2010, including a 22% jump between 1989 and 1990 and a similar jump between 2008 and 2009. In 2010, a death row inmate waited an average of 178 months (or close to 15 years) between sentencing and execution. Nearly a quarter of deaths on death row in the U.S. are due to natural causes.
When the United Kingdom had capital punishment, the convicted were given one appeal of their sentence. If that appeal was found to involve an important point of law it was taken up to the House of Lords, and if the appeal was successful, at that point the sentence was changed to life in prison. The Home Secretary in the United Kingdom had the power to exercise the Sovereign's royal prerogative of mercy to grant a reprieve on execution and change the sentence to life imprisonment. In some Caribbean countries which still authorize execution, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is the ultimate court of appeals. It has upheld appeals by prisoners who have spent several years under sentence of death, stating that it does not desire to see the death row phenomenon emerge in countries under its jurisdiction.
There were 3,125 people on death row in the United States on January 1, 2013. Since 1977, the states of Texas (464), Virginia (108) and Oklahoma (94) have executed the most death row inmates. As of 2010, California (683), Florida (390), Texas (330) and Pennsylvania (218) housed more than half of all inmates pending on death row. As of 2008, the longest-serving prisoner on death row in the U.S.A. who has been executed was Jack Alderman who served over 33 years. He was executed in Georgia in 2008. However, Alderman only holds the distinction of being the longest-serving executed inmate so far. A Florida inmate, Gary Alvord, arrived on Florida's death row before Alderman arrived on Georgia's death row and, on 9 April 2013, Alvord had been on death row for exactly 43 years until he passed away on May 19, 2013 from a brain tumor. longer than any other United States death row inmate. The oldest prisoner on death row in the United States was Leroy Nash, age 94, in Arizona. He died of natural causes on February 12, 2010.
|Men's death row||Women's death row|
|Civilian Federal||United States Penitentiary, Terre Haute, Terre Haute, Indiana||Federal Medical Center, Carswell, Fort Worth, Texas|
|Military||United States Disciplinary Barracks, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas||Naval Consolidated Brig, Miramar, San Diego, California1|
|State||Men's death row||Women's death row|
|Alabama||Holman Correctional Facility, Atmore and William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility, Bessemer ||Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women|
|Arizona||Arizona State Prison Complex - Eyman||Arizona State Prison Complex - Perryville|
|Arkansas||Varner Unit||McPherson Unit|
|California||San Quentin State Prison||Central California Women’s Facility|
|Colorado||No designated death row|
Currently all DR prisoners are at Sterling Correctional Facility
|Colorado Women's Correctional Facility|
|Connecticut||Northern Correctional Institution||York Correctional Institution|
|Delaware||James T. Vaughn Correctional Center||Delores J. Baylor Women's Correctional Institution|
|Florida||Union Correctional Institution and Florida State Prison||Lowell Correctional Institution Annex|
|Georgia||Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison||Arrendale State Prison|
|Idaho||Idaho Maximum Security Institution, Boise||Pocatello Women's Correctional Center, Pocatello|
|Indiana||Indiana State Prison, Michigan City||Indiana Women's Prison, Indianapolis|
|Kansas||El Dorado Correctional Facility, El Dorado||Topeka Correctional Facility, Topeka|
|Kentucky||Kentucky State Penitentiary, Eddyville||Kentucky Correctional Institute for Women, Peewee Valley|
|Louisiana||Louisiana State Penitentiary, unincorporated West Feliciana Parish||Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women, St. Gabriel|
|Maryland||North Branch Correctional Institution||Maryland Correctional Institution - Women, Jessup|
|Mississippi||Mississippi State Penitentiary, Sunflower County||Central Mississippi Correctional Facility|
|Missouri||Potosi Correctional Center||Women's Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center|
|Montana||Montana State Prison, Deer Lodge||Montana Women's Prison, Billings|
|Nebraska||Tecumseh State Correctional Institution, Tecumseh||Nebraska Correctional Center for Women, York|
|Nevada||Ely State Prison, Ely||Florence McClure Women's Correctional Center, North Las Vegas|
|New Hampshire||New Hampshire State Prison for Men, Concord||New Hampshire State Prison for Women, Goffstown|
|New Mexico||Penitentiary of New Mexico, Santa Fe County||New Mexico Women's Correctional Facility, Grants|
|North Carolina||Central Prison, Raleigh||North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women, Raleigh|
|Ohio||Chillicothe Correctional Institution, Chillicothe, Ohio State Penitentiary, Youngstown and Franklin Medical Center, Columbus||Ohio Reformatory for Women, Marysville|
|Oklahoma||Oklahoma State Penitentiary, McAlester||Mabel Bassett Correctional Center, Oklahoma City|
|Oregon||Oregon State Penitentiary, Salem||Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, Wilsonville|
|Pennsylvania||SCI-Greene, Franklin Township|
and Skippack Township (SCI Graterford)
|SCI-Muncy, Clinton Township|
|South Carolina||Lieber Correctional Institution, Ridgeville||Camille Griffin Graham Correctional Institution, Columbia|
|South Dakota||South Dakota State Penitentiary, Sioux Falls||South Dakota Women's Prison, Pierre|
|Tennessee||Riverbend Maximum Security Institution, Nashville and Morgan County Correctional Complex, Wartburg||Tennessee Prison for Women, Nashville|
|Texas||Polunsky Unit, West Livingston||Mountain View Unit, Gatesville|
|Utah||Utah State Prison, Draper||Central Utah Correctional Facility, Gunnison|
|Virginia||Sussex I State Prison, Sussex County||Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women|
|Washington||Washington State Penitentiary, Walla Walla||Washington Corrections Center for Women|
|Wyoming||Wyoming State Penitentiary, Rawlins||Wyoming Women's Center, Lusk|
Notes: 1Naval Consolidated Brig, Miramar is the only facility in the United States Department of Defense designated to house female Level III inmates.