Wyoming Capital Punishment Laws

Just utter the phrase "the death penalty" and it has the ability to polarize our nation. Our states our split on the issue. Some states wholeheartedly enforce capital punishment, while others actively went about abolishing it. Indeed, capital punishment has a long and controversial history in the U.S., in which each state passes its own laws concerning the sentence. The majority of states, including Wyoming, allow capital punishment for the most serious crimes.

Wyoming uses lethal injection for its executions. But problems with the supply of lethal-injection drugs have spurred Wyoming lawmakers to consider a backup method of executing death-row inmates: the firing squad.

It's not as far fetched as you may think. In 2015, neighboring state Utah adopted firing squad as its backup method. Wyoming, the nation’s least-populous state, has no one on death row and has executed only one person since 1976, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. The Wyoming House voted in 2015 to make a firing squad the new alternative method of execution, with the stipulation that inmates be rendered unconscious before they are shot. Some critics however, are questioning why the measure is even necessary since Wyoming's death row is empty.

The basics of capital punishment laws in Wyoming are highlighted in the table below. See FindLaw's Death Penalty section for more related articles.

Code Section 6-2-101, et seq.; 7-13-901, et seq.
Is Capital Punishment Allowed? Yes
Effect of Defendant's Incapacity Suspend sentence if mentally incapacitated or pregnant
Minimum Age 16
Available for Crimes Other than Homicide? None
Definition of Capital Homicide While under sentence, on parole/probation, after escaping detention or released on bail; previous conviction for murder in first degree or felony using violence; knowingly created great risk of death to 2 or more persons; while committing/attempting to commit aircraft piracy or unlawful discharge of bomb; while escaping or avoiding arrest; for pecuniary gain; was especially atrocious or cruel; court official in exercise of official duty; victim is less than 17 years or older than 65 years; victim especially vulnerable due to significant mental or physical disability; poses substantial and continuing threat or likely to commit acts again; while committing/attempting to commit robbery, sexual assault, arson, burglary, kidnapping
Method of Execution Lethal injection or lethal gas if injection ruled unconstitutional

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Wyoming criminal attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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