Published on: Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Eighteen men were put to death in the U.S. in 2022 (article available here).

This year was the eighth consecutive year with fewer than 30 executions, according to a report by the Death Penalty Information Center.

More than a third of the execution attempts in 2022 were mishandled. Seven visibly botched executions that took place in three states as “shocking,” even as the total number of executions remained among the lowest in a generation (previous coverage available here).

Once again, executions were concentrated in the South. Texas and Oklahoma each executed five inmates, while Alabama put two inmates to death and Mississippi executed one. Arizona executed three inmates in 2022, while Missouri executed two.

Here are all 18 people who were executed in 2022:

January 27, 2022: Oklahoma executed Donald Grant. He was 46 years old. His final words were reported to be disjointed and incoherent. "Yo, God, I got this," Grant said, according to witnesses. "No medication. I didn't take nothing. Brooklyn for life."

January 27, 2022: Alabama executed Metthew Reeves. He was 43 years old. Reeves remained silent during his execution at Holman Prison.

February 17, 2022: Oklahoma executed Gilbert Ray Postelle. He was 35 years old. He was killed with a lethal injection at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, and prison officials declared him dead at 10:14 a.m. He did not give any last words and glanced a few times at the seven witnesses who were in the viewing room.

April 21, 2022: Texas executed Carl Wayne Buntion. He was 78 years old, and was Texas' oldest person on death row. "I wanted the Irby family to know one thing: I do have remorse for what I did," Buntion said while strapped to the Texas death chamber gurney. "I pray to God that they get the closure for me killing their father and Ms. Irby's husband.

May 3, 2022: Missouri executed Carman Deck. He was 56 years old. Deck mouthed a few inaudible words as the 5 grams of pentobarbital were administered, then puffed out a couple of breaths before all movement stopped. "My hope is that one day the world will find peace and that we all will learn to be kind and loving to one another," Deck said in a written final statement. "We all are a part of this journey through life, connected in every way. Please give love, show love, BE LOVE!"

May 11, 2022: Arizona executed Clarence Wayne Dixon, after a nearly eight-year hiatus in the state's use of the death penalty brought on by difficulty state officials faced in finding lethal injection drugs. He was 66 years old. The last time Arizona executed a prisoner was in July 2014, when Joseph Wood was given 15 doses of a two-drug combination over two hours in an execution that his lawyers said was botched. Wood snorted repeatedly and gasped more than 600 times before he died. Arizona has 112 people on death row.

June 8, 2022: Arizona executed Frank Atwood at the state prison in Florence. He was 66 years old. This was the state's second execution since officials started carrying out the death penalty in May after a nearly eight-year hiatus.

July 28, 2022: Alabama executed Joe Nathan James, Jr. He was 50 years old. Officials took three hours to set an IV line before putting James to death. The Death Penalty Information Center called it "the longest botched lethal injection execution in U.S. history."

Alabama’s prison system has been in the national spotlight, as hundreds of inmates die each year inside the overcrowded facilities set to contain them, drawing criticism from the federal government. But the system more recently has drawn national headlines for its handling of executions.

August 17, 2022: Texas executed Kosoul Chanthakoummane. He was 41 years old. It was the second execution this year in a state that typically puts more people to death than any other. He used his final statement to thank Jesus Christ, ministers with the Texas prison system and "all these people in my life that aided me in this journey." Chanthakoummane added: "To Mrs. Walker's family, I pray that my death will bring them peace," he said into a microphone hanging above him as he lay on a prison gurney.

August 25, 2022: Oklahoma executed James Coddington at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. He was 50 years old.

October 5, 2022: Texas executed John Henry Ramirez. "I am ready, Warden,” were his last words. His case clarified the role of spiritual advisors in death chambers. The U.S. Supreme Court sided with Ramirez in March when it ruled that states must accommodate death row inmates who want to have their faith leaders pray and touch them during their executions. Ramirez's spiritual adviser placed his right hand on Ramirez's chest during his execution, and held it there for the duration.

October 20, 2022: Oklahoma executed by lethal injection Benjamin Cole. He was 57 years old. Cole, who suffered from schizophrenia and was severely mentally ill, declined a ceremonial last meal and chose not to have a spiritual adviser with him. His last words were a rambling stream of consciousness that referred at times to “the Lord” and “Jesus” and sometimes was too quiet to decipher.

November 9, 2022: Texas executed Tracy Beatty. He was 61 years old. "I don't want to leave you baby, see you when you get there. I love you," he said in his final statement, addressing his wife who watched the procedure through a window.

November 16, 2022: Arizona executed Murray Hooper. He was 76 years old. Hooper's last words were, "It's all been said, let it be done. Don't be sad for me. Don't cry. I'll see you later, let's go." This was the third execution in Arizona this year.

November 16, 2022: Texas executed Stephen Barbee. He was 55 years old. In his final statement, he hoped his execution would not be a sad moment for his family and friends. “I just want everyone to have peace in their heart, make eternity with Jesus, give him the glory in everything you do. I’m ready,” he said, just before a lethal dose of pentobarbital was injected.

November 17, 2022: Oklahoma executed Richard Stephen Fairchild, an ex-Marine, on his 63rd birthday. "Today's a day for Adam, justice for Adam," Fairchild said while strapped to gurney in the death chamber. "I'm at peace with God. Don't grieve for me because I'm going home to meet my heavenly father."

November 29, 2022: Missouri executed Kevin Johnson despite his attorneys arguing that the case was tainted with racism and a special prosecutor filing a motion to vacate the death sentence. He was 37 years old. He didn’t give a final statement.

December 14, 2022: Mississippi executed Thomas Edwin Loden Jr. He was 58 years old. Loden, a former US Marines Corps recruiter, said he was “deeply remorseful” for murdering Gray, who was soon to be a senior in high school. He said he knew he could never take back the heartbreak he caused by killing the teenager in his final words. “For the past 20 years, I’ve tried to do a good deed every single day to make up for the life I took from this world,” he said. “I know these are mere words and cannot erase the damage I did. If today brings you nothing else, I hope you get peace and closure.”

Eleven people were executed in the U.S. last year, the fewest since 1988: Texas executed three people, Oklahoma executed two and one each were put to death in Alabama, Mississippi and Missouri. Three federal inmates were executed in January 2021, toward the end of Donald Trump's presidency.