Montana has only executed 74 people since 1800

Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is a topic that most people don't think about on a daily basis, especially in Montana where don't execute very many people.

While it might be easy to not think about it, but there are people right now sitting on death row in Montana.

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Back in 1976 Montana resumed the death penalty, but it took almost 20 years until the first person was executed after it had been reinstated.

Their name was Duncan Peder McKenzie Jr. who was convicted of killing a school teacher in Conrad in 1974. He was then executed in 1995.

In 1998 Terry Allen Langford was executed after he was found guilty of killing a husband and wife from Ovando, Montana.

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a corridor of empty jail cells

2006 Was The Last Execution In Montana

It's been almost 20 years since the last execution happened in Montana.

That persons name was David Thomas Dawson.

Mug shot of David Dawson the last man executed in Montana
By Montana Department of Corrections - Original publication: Clark ProsecutorImmediate source:, Fair use,

He was convicted in 1987 of the murder of 3 family members in a Billings motel room.

Today there are only two people on death row in the state of Montana.

Ronald Allen Smith

a mug shot of ronald allen smith
Photo Credit:

Smith, who actually asked for the death penalty himself, was convicted of killed two men who offered them a ride while he and an accomplice were hitchhiking.

He is the only Canadian on death row in America.

William Jay Gollehon

a mug shot of William Jay Gollehon
Photo Credit:

Gollenhon has been on death row for close to 41 years after being convicted of the murder of a inmate during a prison riot in 1991.

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