The Supreme Court Actually Has a Position Called the “Death Clerk”

“Death Clerk” is the informal title for the U.S. Supreme Court employee who tracks pending executions across the United States to coordinate with justices on legal actions. When an execution is scheduled to be carried out, it’s the job of the Death Clerk to keep everyone in the loop. The clerk makes up a list every week of all the pending executions throughout the country and stays in touch with the lower courts and with counsel. In fact, the Death Clerk is on call 24/7. For the first 150 years of the country's existence, prisoners were executed either by hanging or by firing squad. That changed in the 1880s when the electric chair was invented. Electrocution became the standard method for executions until 1982, when lethal injection was used for the first time. An average of 46 people a year are executed by lethal injection. As of 2021, 24 states still allow for the death penalty.