Prosecutors and governors around the country said they would move forward with carrying out death sentences as quickly as the courts can set execution dates. For example:

In Texas: Easily the No. 1 death penalty state, 40 condemned convicts who had all but exhausted their appeals had been awaiting the outcome of the case, said University of Houston law Prof. David Dow, who represents death row inmates. By law, execution dates must be set at least a month in advance, so no execution could take place before mid-May at the earliest.

In Oklahoma: Attorney General Drew Edmondson said he will request an execution date for two condemned inmates who have run out of appeals. The executions could be held as early as June, allowing 60 days for each inmate to receive a final clemency hearing. It was in Oklahoma that the three-drug lethal cocktail was invented 31 years ago.

In Virginia, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine promptly lifted a moratorium on capital punishment that he imposed April 1, when he stayed the execution of a man who killed a police officer.

In Florida: Gov. Charlie Crist said he asked one of his lawyers to put together "a very short list" of death warrants to consider signing.