See the rise and fall of methods of capital punishment since 1700—from hanging to burning to lethal injection, including Wednesday's botched execution in Arizona
Mouse over or tap a bar in the chart to see the figures for that year.
A botched lethal injection in Arizona Wednesday followed a similar episode in Oklahoma this spring. The incidents have once again thrown the prevailing method of execution in the United States into turmoil.
How states have executed prisoners has changed over time. More than half of the 15,723 executions in U.S. history have been by hanging. Today, lethal injection has replaced electrocution as the dominant method of capital punishment in the United States. Lethal injection has failed to quickly kill a convict before this year too. (There were no executions from 1967 to 1977. They resumed following a Supreme Court ruling.)
—Emily Maltby and Lon Tweeten contributing reporting to this story. The source code for this project is available on Time’s GitHub page. This post has been updated from its original posting on April 30, 2014, to reflect most recent figures.