Twenty (20) U.S. states do not have the death penalty. The following states have abolished the death penalty. They are: Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin. Also, Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and the capital of the United States, does not impose the death penalty.

In June 1972, the United States Supreme Court in the case of Furman v. Georgia placed a de facto moratorium on the death penalty in America. Because of that case, states amended their laws to comply with the mandates of the Furman decision. But accordingly, some states acted to reinstate capital punishment as required by the law.

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