List of people executed in Kentucky Information

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This is a list of people executed in Kentucky. Since the reinstatement of capital punishment in the United States in 1976, three people have been executed in Kentucky. All three were executed for murder. All of the executions occurred at the Kentucky State Penitentiary (KSP) in Eddyville.

Executed person Date of execution Method Victims Under Governor
1 Harold McQueen, Jr. 1 July 1997 Electrocution Rebecca O'Hearn Paul Patton
2 Edward Lee Harper, Jr. 25 May 1999 Lethal injection Alice Harper and Edward Lee Harper, Sr.
3 Marco Allen Chapman 21 November 2008 Chelbi Sharon and Cody Sharon Steve Beshear

As of 2019, Harold McQueen has been the only person executed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky involuntarily since 1976. Edward Lee Harper and Marco Allen Chapman both volunteered to be executed. Harper dropped his remaining appeals while Chapman waived all non-statutory appeals during initial sentencing. (According to the Kentucky Revised Statutes, all sentences of death in Kentucky must be reviewed and affirmed by the Kentucky Supreme Court before they are carried out.)

Another execution of note in Kentucky was that of Rainey Bethea. Bethea was executed by hanging on 14 August 1936 for the rape of 70-year-old Lischia Edwards. He had also confessed to her murder by strangling but the Commonwealth indicted him only on the rape charge since that was the only capital crime for which the penalty was hanging. Had Bethea been convicted and sentenced to death for murder (even with an additional rape conviction), the law as it was written at the time would have required Bethea to have been transported to Eddyville and executed in KSP's electric chair. It was to be the last public hanging in the United States; the execution was witnessed by thousands in downtown Owensboro.

The first person legally executed by the state of Kentucky was Jereboam O. Beauchamp who was hanged in 1826 for the murder of Solomon P. Sharp.

See also