11 Americans on Death Row Were Executed in 2021

Ten men and a woman were put to death in the U.S. this year.

The 11 executions by the federal government and five states in 2021 were the fewest since 1988, according to a report by the Death Penalty Information Center.

Three were federal executions that took place in quick succession in the final days of Donald Trump's presidency. President Joe Biden's administration later paused the federal death penalty, but advocates have urged him to go further.

The executions carried out by states have been concentrated in the South. Texas executed three inmates, while Oklahoma executed two. Alabama, Mississippi and Missouri each executed one.

Here are all 11 people who were executed in 2021:

Lisa Montgomery

Montgomery, 53, was executed on January 13 by the Trump administration for strangling pregnant Bobbie Jo Stinnett in Missouri and cutting the baby from her womb in December 2004. She was the first woman to be put to death by the U.S. government in almost seven decades.

Montgomery's lawyers argued that she was not mentally competent to be put to death, and that the years of sexual abuse and torture Montgomery suffered throughout her childhood had left her with severe mental illness.

"The craven bloodlust of a failed administration was on full display tonight," her lawyer, Kelley Henry, said after the execution. "Everyone who participated in the execution of Lisa Montgomery should feel shame."

Corey Johnson

Johnson's execution went ahead on January 14 after his lawyers failed to stop it on the grounds that a lethal injection of pentobarbital would cause him excruciating pain due to lung damage from his coronavirus infection the prior month.

The 52-year-old was put to death for slaying seven people in Virginia's capital Richmond in 1992.

"I want to say that I am sorry for my crimes," he said in his last statement. "I wanted to say that to the families who were victimized by my actions."

Dustin Higgs

Higgs, 48, was the 13th and last inmate executed in the Trump administration's series of federal executions that began in the summer of last year.

He was put to death on January 15, five days before Joe Biden's inauguration, after being convicted of ordering the killings of three women in a Maryland wildlife refuge in 1996.

Asked for his last words, Higgs said: "I'd like to say I am an innocent man. I am not responsible for the deaths. I did not order the murders."

Quintin Jones

Jones, 41, received the lethal injection at the Texas State Penitentiary in Huntsville for the 1999 killing of his 83-year-old great-aunt Berthena Bryant.

His May 19 execution had been the first carried out by Texas in almost a year—and was condemned after prison agency officials neglected to bring in reporters to witness it.

The previous 570 executions carried out by Texas since capital punishment resumed in 1982 all had at least one media witness.

John Hummel

Hummel, 45, was put to death by Texas on June 30 for killing his pregnant wife, 5-year-old daughter and father-in-law as they slept in 2009.

He expressed remorse for the killings in his last statement. "I truly regret killing my family," he said. "I am thankful for all the thoughts and prayers for my family over the last few days. I love each and every one of you."

Rick Rhoades

Rhoades, 57, was executed by Texas on September 28 for the fatal stabbing of two brothers during a robbery in their home in 1991. He declined to make a final statement.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to stop his execution over claims that his constitutional right to due process was being violated, because he was prevented from pursuing claims that some potential jurors at his trial were dismissed for racially discriminatory reasons.

Several courts had rejected the allegation that two Black jurors were dismissed due to racial bias. Rhoades was white.

Ernest Johnson

Missouri executed Johnson, 61, on October 5 for killing three people while robbing a convenience store in Columbia in 1994.

The execution went ahead despite claims by his attorney that it would violate the 8th Amendment's prohibition on executing intellectually disabled people.

Those who had called for Johnson's execution to be stopped included Pope Francis.

Willie Smith III

Smith, 52, received a lethal injection at a south Alabama prison on October 21.

He was sentenced to death for the 1991 abduction and slaying of 22-year-old Sharma Ruth Johnson.

Smith's execution went ahead after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request for a stay by his lawyers, who argued that Smith had an intellectual disability.

John Grant

Oklahoma ended a six-year moratorium on capital punishment—prompted by a series of flawed executions—by putting Grant to death on October 28.

Grant, 60, was convicted of killing prison worker Gay Carter in November 1998 while serving sentences for four armed robberies.

His execution sparked outrage after witnesses said he convulsed repeatedly and vomited after the sedative midazolam was administered.

David Cox

Cox, 50, was put to death on November 17 in what was Mississippi's first execution since 2012.

He was executed after being convicted of killing his estranged wife, Kim Cox, and sexually assaulting her young daughter as her mother lay dying in 2010.

Earlier this month, authorities uncovered the remains of a woman believed to be Cox's sister-in-law, Felicia Cox, after he admitted to killing her and providing instructions on where to find her body before his execution.

Bigler Stouffer II

Stouffer, 79, was executed at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester on December 9.

He was sentenced to death for the 1985 murder of Linda Reaves in an attack that also left her boyfriend, Doug Ivens, seriously injured.

But Stouffer never stopped maintaining his innocence. "My request is that my father forgive them. Thank you," he said in his final words.

Texas execution chamber
File: An execution chamber sits empty on April 25, 1997, in Huntsville, Texas. A report released by the Death Penalty Information Center on December 16, 2021, said 11 people were executed in 2021, the lowest number since the late 1980s. Per-Anders Pettersson/Liaison