An execution chamber, or death chamber, is a room or chamber in which a legal execution is carried out. Execution chambers are almost always inside the walls of a maximum-security prison, although not always at the same prison where the death row population is housed. Inside the chamber is the device used to carry out the death sentence.
In the United States, an execution chamber will usually contain a lethal injection table. In most cases, a witness room is located adjacent to an execution chamber, where witnesses may watch the execution through glass windows. All except for one of the states which allow capital punishment are equipped with a death chamber, but many states rarely put them to use. The sole exception is New Hampshire, which has no execution chamber (although one inmate remains on death row). Kansas, Nevada, Wyoming, and California are the only states to have an execution chamber, which is equipped to execute an inmate by lethal injection, which has never been used, while the states of New Jersey and New York formerly had lethal injection chambers which were never used while the death penalty remained legal.
|Federal||Terre Haute, Indiana (Federal Correctional Complex, Terre Haute)|
|Military||Terre Haute, Indiana (Federal Correctional Complex, Terre Haute)|
|Alabama||Escambia County (Holman Correctional Facility)|
|Arizona||Florence (Arizona State Prison Complex - Florence)|
|Arkansas||Lincoln County (Cummins Unit)|
|California||Marin County (San Quentin State Prison)|
|Colorado||Fremont County (Colorado State Penitentiary)|
|Connecticut[a]||Somers (Osborn Correctional Institution)|
|Delaware||New Castle County (James T. Vaughn Correctional Center)|
|Florida||Bradford County (Florida State Prison)|
|Georgia||Butts County (Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison)|
|Idaho||Kuna (Idaho Maximum Security Institution)|
|Illinois[b]||Tamms (Tamms Correctional Center)|
|Indiana||Michigan City (Indiana State Prison)|
|Kansas||Lansing (Lansing Correctional Facility)|
|Kentucky||Eddyville (Kentucky State Penitentiary)|
|Louisiana||West Feliciana Parish (Louisiana State Penitentiary)|
|Maryland[c]||Baltimore (Metropolitan Transition Center)|
|Mississippi||Sunflower County (Mississippi State Penitentiary)|
|Missouri||Bonne Terre (Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center)|
|Montana||Powell County (Montana State Prison)|
|Nebraska||Lincoln (Nebraska State Penitentiary)|
|Nevada||White Pine County (Ely State Prison)|
|New Hampshire[d]||Concord (New Hampshire State Prison for Men)|
|New Jersey[e]||Trenton (New Jersey State Prison)|
|New Mexico[f]||Santa Fe County (Penitentiary of New Mexico)|
|New York[g]||Beekman (Green Haven Correctional Facility)[h]|
|North Carolina||Raleigh (Central Prison)|
|Ohio||Scioto County (Southern Ohio Correctional Facility)|
|Oklahoma||McAlester (Oklahoma State Penitentiary)|
|Oregon||Salem (Oregon State Penitentiary)|
|Pennsylvania||Benner Township (State Correctional Institution - Rockview)|
|South Carolina||Columbia (Broad River Correctional Institution)|
|South Dakota||Sioux Falls (South Dakota State Penitentiary)|
|Tennessee||Nashville (Riverbend Maximum Security Institution)|
|Texas||Huntsville (Huntsville Unit)|
|Utah||Draper (Utah State Prison)|
|Virginia||Greensville County (Greensville Correctional Center)|
|Washington[i]||Walla Walla (Washington State Penitentiary)|
|Wyoming||Rawlins (Wyoming State Penitentiary)[j]|
b Death penalty abolished in 2011. All condemned prisoners sentences were commuted to life imprisonment immediately upon abolition.
f Death penalty abolished in 2009; two prisoners remain on death row under sentences of death.
g Last death sentence reversed in 2007.
j If an execution does occur, the state will use its parole board meeting room at the state prison.
In the United Kingdom, the execution chamber was part of a larger complex, often referred to as the "Execution Suite". The room, usually formed from two single prison cells, contained the large trapdoor, usually double-leaved, but in some older chambers such as at Oxford, single-leaved, and operating lever. The wooden beam from which the rope was suspended was usually set into the walls of the chamber above, with the floor removed. At Wandsworth Prison the floor was retained and holes allowed the rope and chains through. Oxford's chamber was of an old 19th-century type, and the beam was set into the walls of the chamber just above head height.
Such rooms were almost always built into one of the wings of a prison; following the recommendation of prison governors during the 1948 Royal Commission on capital punishment, further execution chambers were housed in purpose-built blocks, separate from the main prison. The last gallows to be constructed and used in Britain, at HMP Aberdeen, was built in 1962, and was used one year later for the hanging of Henry John Burnett, the last person to be executed in Scotland. A freestanding execution block was built at HMP Perth in 1965, but was never used. This was the last gallows to be constructed in the United Kingdom.
The last officially operational gallows in the United Kingdom (as several remained unofficially in other prisons), at Wandsworth Prison, was removed in 1994. Salvaged parts from it are currently in the possession of the National Galleries of Justice, having previously been at the HM Prison Service museum.
Japan has seven execution chambers used to kill condemned criminals. One is at the Tokyo Detention House. Hanging is Japan's method of execution. The execution chamber in Tokyo has a trap door. As the condemned dies, his or her body falls into a room below the execution chamber, and in that room the death is confirmed. In the Tokyo facility, before the condemned is executed, he or she passes a statue of Amida Nyorai (Amitābha), a Buddhist deity. The execution room in Tokyo is in two sections, with both of them together the size of a 15 tatami mat room (270 square feet or 25 m²).
In Canada, executions were usually carried out in the county/Municipality Jail where they where committed Alberta and British Columbia had gallows for the entire province in Fort Saskatchewan ( A few hangings were carried out in Lethbridge as well) and Oakalla (Now Burnaby). Ie: The Don Jail, was for murders committed in The City of Toronto and County of York. The Ontario County Jail in Whitby which was used for murders committed to what is now Durham Region. Most hangings were carried out using temporary gallows built in the Jail yard although a few jails had permanent indoor facilities
Execution chamber at San Quentin State Prison
Army personnel will be responsible for conducting the execution in Indiana based on an agreement with the U.S. Bureau of Prisons., see also Ronald A. Gray