Famous American Criminals Who Were Executed

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American history is filled with interesting and twisted tales of some of the world’s most evil criminals. Famous murders, rapists, and other types of devious criminals have roots in the old U.S.A. These criminals spent their life’s final moments on death row waiting for their last meal and the long walk to their execution.  What were the most famous executions in American history? What crimes were committed to earn a spot on death row? In what ways were these American criminals executed? This list answers those questions and more.


Execution in America has evolved over the decades. Firing squad and hangings used to be a popular method of execution, whereas lethal injection and electric chair are the most commonly used methods today. The electric chair was once such a controversial method of the death in the United States that many lawyers argued that it was cruel and unusual punishment, and by the rule of the Eighth Amendment, should be outlawed. There were even a few cases where the electric chair was faulty and needed multiple tries to execute a convict.


The criminals on this list have very different crimes and marks on the world, but their way out of the world was very similar. These men and women were all executed through the American legal system. 

Collection Photo:  PFC David Epstein / National Archives and Records Administration 531447
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