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3,076 Links May 1, 2008.
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Probably the single most comprehensive and authoritative internet rersource on the death penalty, including hundreds of anti-death penalty articles, essays, and quotes on issues of deterrence, cost, execution of the innocent, racism, public opinion, women, juveniles, mentally retarded, and more; Statistics on death rows and executions state-by-state, inmate-by-inmate; Up-to-date death penalty news from around the country. (Unfortunately, this site makes absolutely no effort to present any pro-death penalty views, and liberally spreads propaganda and rhetoric on behalf of "the cause.")
Established by the Justice Center at the University of Alaska Anchorage in the wake of a debate on whether to introduce capital punishment to Alaska. Its expressed purpopse is to give a full picture, using existing Internet resources, of the complex issues surrounding capital punishment and its application, and does a commendable job of meeting that purpose. Hundreds of articles and links (some pro-death penalty), history and statistics, issues and organizations.
Up-to-date execution statistics and alerts; U.S. Executions since 1977 by name, date, state, and victim(s); Death Row Inmate Homepages and Links. (Southern Methodist University)
A comprehensive pro-death penalty site with articles, links, and up-to-date death penalty info and news.
Thoughtful pro-death penalty essay addressing arguments re: deterrence, cost, racism, DP vs LWOP, morality, christianity, constitutionality, and risk of wrongful executions.
Comprehensive information on the Death Penalty in Indiana, including statistics, executions since 1900, current death row (with photos), Indiana death penalty laws, history, and methods of execution, with factual and legal summaries of all death penalty cases since 1977; Up-to-date information on the Death Penalty in the United States; Listing and news/legal summaries of all executions since 1976; Over 3,000 death penalty links arranged by subject, including 150+ pro-death penalty links.
"The Death Penalty Moratorium Implementation Project, led by director Deborah Fleischaker, was launched by the American Bar Association (ABA) in September 2001 as the "next step" towards a nationwide moratorium on executions. The Project was created to encourage other bar associations to press for moratoriums in their jurisdictions and to encourage state government leaders to establish moratoriums and undertake detailed examinations of capital punishment laws and processes in their jurisdictions." With links to Resolutions and State by State Assessment Team Reports, naturally concluding that the death penalty systems in each state are "deeply flawed." Notorious for the anti-death penalty views of authors.
A distinguished panel, but with a clear anti-death penalty slant, make up The Constitution Project, Death Penalty Initiative. (Includes well-known anti-death penalty activists former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, former Florida Chief Justice Gerald Kogan, and former Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke. Their report was presented to the United States Senate, Committee on the Judiciary on June 27, 2001 at hearings on "Protecting the Innocent: Ensuring Competent Counsel in Death Penalty Cases." Their recommendations include: adequate compensation, standards and training for defense counsel; the removal of certain classes of defendants and homicides from death penalty eligibility; greater flexibility for introducing evidence that casts doubt on a conviction or sentence; gathering of data on the role of race in capital punishment and involvement of all races in the decision-making process; elimination of a judge's ability to impose a death sentence despite a jury recommendation for life imprisonment; and requiring prosecutors to open their files to the defense in death penalty cases.
The Innocence Project at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, founded by Barry C. Scheck and Peter J. Neufeld in 1992, is a non-profit legal clinic and criminal justice resource center. We work to exonerate the wrongfully convicted through postconviction DNA testing; and develop and implement reforms to prevent wrongful convictions.
Thorough collection of 104 mainly religious death penalty links on the web, almost entirely anti-death penalty, put together by Gerald Darring, instructor at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama.
From the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Resources include list of attendees, transcipts of the conference, news reports on the conference, as well as a bibliography, filmography, essays, and death penalty links.
A California-based nonprofit public interest law organization dedicated to restoring a balance between the rights of crime victims and the criminally accused. Includes summaries of recent cases of interest in California, U.S. Court of Appeals, and U.S. Supreme Court, with index of amicus curiae briefs filed by CJLF. Also, Links and summaries / abstracts of articles and studies on the deterrent effect of capital punishment.
Yearly publication of the U.S. Department of Justice with detailed statistics and history of the death penalty in the U.S. Accurate source for any and all papers and writings, on both sides of the issue. Availability lags approximately one year behind.
The following is a detailed State by State listing of 14,490 executions that occurred under civil authority in the United States or within territory that later became the United States. From George Kendal being shot for espionage in Virginia (1608) until Gary Gilmore met his maker for murder in Utah (1977). Executions are also broken down chronologically, by race and gender, by juveniles, by method of execution, by (non-homicide) conviction. Outstanding work developed from The Espy Files.
Up-to-date public opinion polls on capital punishment from various sources, including Harris Polls, Gallup Polls, ABC/NBC/CNN/Fox News Polls; Also includes polls on Fear of Crime, Crime Victims, DNA, and Police.
(As of January 1, 2007) A quarterly report by the Capital Punishment Project of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. A complete state by state listing of all current death row prisoners in the United States, by name, race, sex, and juveniles; Summaries of racial and gender characteristics of those executed, on death row, and their victims; Summaries of recent U.S. Supreme Court cases.
Frontline: Angel on Death Row with Sister Helen Prejean.
The real life cases from the movie "Dead Man Walking"; Interviews with Sister Helen Prejean and victims; Pros and Cons of the Death Penalty; Chronology of Capital Punishment. (From PBS series Frontline 1998)
Online assistance for the federal capital defense lawyer, at trial, on appeal, or on habeas. Overview of federal death penalty statutes, brief bank, litigation guides, listing of legal research sites, summaries of death penalty opinions, upcoming training and seminars. Federal Death Penalty Resource Counsel Project (FDPRCP)
Comprehensive annotation of helpful and applicable capital habeas law. Table of Contents; Table of Authorities; State Law Summaries/History - Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington; Chapter 1: Constitutionality and Other General Considerations; Chapter 2: Pretrial and Preliminary Stage Issues; Chapter 3: Guilt Phase Issues; Chapter 4: Sentencing Phase Issues; Chapter 5: Federal Death Penalty; Chapter 6: Habeas Corpus Proceedings.
Resource Guide for Managing Capital Trials, 59 pg, (2004); Resource Guide for Managing Capital Habeas Review, 32 pg, (2004); Forms for General Pretrial Orders, Appointment of Counsel, Orders appointing retained counsel, Order appointing second counsel, Notice of Intent to Seek the Death Penalty, Orders setting deadline for notice of intent, Orders appointing mitigation experts, Order appointing psychologist, Order appointing investigator, Sample case budget from Death Penalty Resource Counsel, Memorandum re interim payments for experts, Memorandum re counsel fees and expenses, Order of referral of cost management to magistrate judge, Order raising hourly rate for retained counsel, Order re funds for experts and consultants, Order reducing fees for non-death penalty case, Memoranda re: budget meeting with counsel, Order granting use of jury questionnaire, Sample juror questionnaires, Order to file joint proposed juror questionnaire, Descriptions of jury selection procedures, Introduction to voir dire and selection process, Script for jury voir dire, Order on motion for anonymous jury, Jury Instructions-Guilt Phase, Preliminary penalty-phase instructions, Penalty phase charges, Special-findings forms; Habeas forms.
Written and edited by Karl R. Keys, a Massachusetts defense attorney for the condemned, created to assist defense attorneys who represent those facing a death sentence. This free legal site offers hundreds of links to assist in legal research, and hundreds more to anti-death penalty articles and publications on the web; Death Watch, Links to dozens of criminal justice and anti-death penalty blogs; Appellate briefs, summaries of recent death penalty cases. Archives of issues since 1997.
Long feature article and commentary, strongly anti-death penalty, making no effort whatsoever to present any pro-death penalty arguments. Includes sections on Killing for Votes, Wrongful Convictions, Never Trust a Prosecutor, Cost, Corruption of Justice, Hanging Judges, Drunk Lawyers, The Supreme Court, Florida's Folly, Young and Retarded Fair Game, Unguided Discretion is Back.
Detailed recitation of the evidence, arguments, and verdicts in 37 famous historical trials, some involving death penalty issues, including: Salem Witchcraft Trials (1692); Dakota Conflict Trials (1862); Lincoln Conspiracy Trials (1865); Lizzie Borden Trial (1893); Leopold and Loeb Trial (1924); Scottsboro Boys Trials (1931-1937); Rosenbergs Trial (1951); Charles Manson Trial (1970-71); Okla City Bombing Trial (1997); Moussaoui 9/11 trial (2006).
Audio and transcripts of Oral Argument, Opinion Announcement, Docket, Summary and Written Opinion. The Oyez Project is a multimedia archive devoted to the Supreme Court of the United States and its work. It aims to be a complete and authoritative source for all audio recorded in the Court since the installation of a recording system in October 1955.
Scores of links on Current Awareness; Case Profiles; Conferences and Trainers; Innocence Projects; Commission Reports; Organizations; Innocence Project Resources; Legislation; Bibliographies, from Ken Strutin (JD, MLS), an experienced law librarian, criminal defense attorney, and well-known writer and speaker.

Causing a media sensation, researchers at Columbia University studied more than 4,578 death penalty appeals from 1973 to 1995 and released a report claiming that nationally 68% of all death penalty sentences are overturned on appeal. The study was authored by Columbia University Professors James S. Liebman and Jeffrey Fagan and graduate student Valerie West.
Why There Is So Much Error in Capital Cases, and What Can Be Done About It - Follow-up report authored by Columbia University Professors James S. Liebman, Jeffrey Fagan, and Andrew Gelman with graduate students Valerie West, Garth Davies, and Alexander Kiss. "There is growing awareness that serious, reversible error permeates America's death penalty system, putting innocent lives at risk, heightening the suffering of victims, leaving killers at large, wasting tax dollars, and failing citizens, the courts and the justice system."
Long-awaited report from the Illinois Commission on Capital Punishment, established by Governor George Ryan shortly after he instituted a moratorium on executions in the state of Illinois in 2000, following the highly publicized "exonerations" of 13 death row inmates since 1976. The report concludes with several controversial recommendations, all restricting the ability of prosecutors to seek a death sentence and the judge and jury's power to deliver one.
Thorough article addressing the concerns of wrongful convictions and execution of the innocent: I. Innocents Released from Death Row: A Critical Review of the Claims; What is the real number?; II. The Risk to Innocents if We Don't Execute; III. Due Process and The Risk to Innocents (Protecting innocent defendants / inmates sacrificing the innocent); IV. OK to Execute the Innocent?; V. Future innocence considerations; VI. The Innocent Executed; VII. Conclusion. From Dudley Sharp, Justice For All, Director of Death Penalty Resources.
The Bombing; The Courtroom Cast; The McVeigh Trial; The Nichols Trial; Trial Transcripts; Video Almanac of the 1995 Bombing; Links;
A comprehensive pro-death penalty site with articles, links, and up-to-date death penalty info and news.
Thoughtful pro-death penalty essay addressing arguments re: deterrence, cost, racism, DP vs LWOP, morality, christianity, constitutionality, and risk of wrongful executions.
Comprehensive information on the Death Penalty in Indiana, including statistics, executions since 1900, current death row (with photos), Indiana death penalty laws, history, and methods of execution, with factual and legal summaries of all death penalty cases since 1977; Up-to-date information on the Death Penalty in the United States; Listing and news/legal summaries of all executions since 1976; Over 3,000 death penalty links arranged by subject, including 150+ pro-death penalty links.
Online ministry with citations from Old and New Testament supporting Capital Punishment, David L. Brown Th.M. (1992)
Well written essay from Accuracy in Media Editor, Reed Irvine, responding to recent media and political "events" from a pro-death penalty point of view. Includes: Fewer Executions, More Murders; Agenda Of The Major Media; Targeting Bush; Flawed Study; The Clinton-Gore Record; Nullification Tactics; Hollywood's Contribution; The Murder Capital; O.J. And Hurricane Notes.
Scholarly defense of capital punishment by Ernest van den Haag, Professor of Jurisprudence and Public Policy, Fordham University. (1986)
Introduction; Arguments for the Death Penalty; Answers to the arguments against the Death Penalty; Investigations concerning deterrence; Investigations concerning costs; Are many innocent people sentenced to death?; About public executions; When the Death Penalty becomes unacceptable; Conventions and protocols; Should organs be taken from executed criminals?; The abolitionist’s alternative – lifetime without parole; Amnesty International; The Death Penalty and the Bible; The "right to life" and Death Penalty; EU and Reformed criminal policy.
A California-based nonprofit public interest law organization dedicated to restoring a balance between the rights of crime victims and the criminally accused. Includes summaries of recent cases of interest in California, U.S. Court of Appeals, and U.S. Supreme Court, with index of amicus curiae briefs filed by CJLF.
Counting the Guilty, commentary on New York Times column by Adam Liptak, March 26, 2008; Let's not squander our moral capital, Oregonian OpEd, February 14, 2008; How many dead innocent victims is "a few"?, on After Innocence, commentary, March 14, 2006; The Innocent and the Shammed, New York Times OpEd on the wrongfully freed, January 26, 2006; Guilty Again!, commentary on DNA confirmation of the guilt of rapist and murderer Roger Coleman, January 15, 2006; Scientific American Fiction?, commentary, January 7, 2006; The Ultimate Sanction Does Work, The Oregonian, December 29, 2005; For select few, death is just, USA Today, December 12, 2005; Supreme Court Visit, The Daily Astorian, December 9, 2005; Karma Comes Around for Tookie, LA Times, December 4, 2005; 1,000th Execution Delayed, by Scott Ott, November 30, 2005; Testimony before the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, June 30, 2005; The Myth of Innocence, Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, March 31, 2005; Honesty in the Debate, special to the National Law Journal, February 28, 2005; Prosecutors vs. Journalists: The Gloves Are Off, The Chicago Reader on the Chicago Tribune series, June 29, 2000.
Thorough description of the recent Death Penalty Debate in Illinois, with a pro-death penalty slant, including a discussion of the Chicago Tribune, the so-called 13 "exonerations," Rolando Cruz and the prosecution of the prosecutors, from John J. Kinsella, First Assistant State’s Attorney for DuPage County.
World Socialist Web Site: "A DuPage County, Illinois prosecutor and four sheriff's officers were acquitted by a county judge and jury June 4 of charges that they conspired to frame up and convict Rolando Cruz for murder, rape and kidnapping."
A column giving a critical reply to the Chicago Tribune series of articles, "Trial and Error," spotlighting the response of the National District Attorneys Association and Oregon Prosecutor Joshua Marquis.
Office website with excerpts of pro-death penalty articles and argument, including: Opinion polls show that Europeans and Canadians favor the death penalty almost as much as Americans; The Death Penalty: A Careful Response To Heinous Acts; Justice Department Study Concludes No Racial Or Ethnic Bias In The Federal Application Of Death Penalty; Does The Death Penalty Save Innocent Lives?, The Myth Of Racism In Death Penalty; Death Penalty Opponents Apply Flawed Logic; Liebman's Death Penalty "Study" Not Accurate; Nuns To Ring Church Bells When Murderers Executed. As usual, no bells for the innocent victims.
Links and summaries / abstracts of articles and studies on the deterrent effect of capital punishment. From the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation.
Scholarly research paper from economics professors at Emory University, Hashem Dezhbakhsh, Paul Rubin, and Joanna Mehlhop Sheperd, suggesting that the death penalty has a strong deterrent effect. "An increase in any of the three probabilities - arrest, sentencing, or execution - tends to reduce the crime rate. In particular, each execution results, on average, in 18 fewer murders-with a margin of error of plus and minus 10. Tests show that results are not driven by “tough” sentencing laws." Unlike many similar studies, this research is based mainly upon new data from post-1976 information.
Scholarly research paper from economics professors at the University of Colorado at Denver, H. Naci Mocan and R. Kaj Gittings, suggesting that the death penalty has a deterrent effect. The paper uses as a dataset over 6,000 death sentences handed down from 1977 to 1997 in the United States. "We find a significant relationship between the execution and pardon rates and the rate of homicide. Each additional execution decreases homicides by 5 to 6, while three additional pardons generate one to 1.5 additional homicides."

Scholarly article from University of Chicago Professor Isaac Erlich, finding a clear deterrence effect of the death penalty. (The American Economic Review, Volume 65, Issue 3, June 1975, Pages 397-417.)
Scholarly article from Charles N. W. Keckler, University of New Mexico, finding a clear deterrent in the death penalty for those who murder and do not fear prison. "In different ways, gangland figures, serial killers, and terrorists all make killing their “business”; it is therefore sensible, as well as singularly appropriate, to selectively focus the use of capital punishment on raising the price of their crimes." (2 J. Law, Economics & Policy 101-161)
Abstract of Paper by Dale O. Cloninger & Roberto Marchesini, University of Houston-Clear Lake. "In January 2003 just prior to leaving office, the Governor commuted the death sentences of all of those who then occupied death row. It is found that these actions are coincident with the increased risk of homicide incurred by the residents of Illinois over the 48 month post-event period for which data were available. The increased risk produced an estimated 150 additional homicides during the post-event period. " (Applied Economics, vol. 38, no. 9, pp. 967-973 (May 20, 2006)
Scholarly article by Paul R. Zimmerman, U.S. Federal Trade Commission - Bureau of Economics. "Correcting for simultaneity, the estimates imply that a state execution deters approximately fourteen murders per year on average. Finally, the results also suggest that the announcement effect of capital punishment, as opposed to the existence of a death penalty provision, is the mechanism actually driving the deterrent effect associated with state executions." (Journal of Applied Economics, Vol. VII, No. I (May 2004), 163-193).
Scholarly article by Joanna M. Shepherd, Clemson University. "Each execution results in, on average, three fewer murders. In addition, capital punishment deters murders previously believed to be undeterrable: crimes of passion and murders by intimates. Moreover, murders of both black and white victims decrease after executions." (Journal of Legal Studies, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 283-322 (June 2004)
Scholarly research paper from economics professors at Emory University, Hashem Dezhbakhsh, Paul Rubin, and Joanna Mehlhop Sheperd, suggesting that the death penalty has a strong deterrent effect. "An increase in any of the three probabilities - arrest, sentencing, or execution - tends to reduce the crime rate. In particular, each execution results, on average, in 18 fewer murders-with a margin of error of plus and minus 10. Tests show that results are not driven by “tough” sentencing laws." Unlike many similar studies, this research is based mainly upon new data from post-1976 information. (Inactive link)
Replies from Economist Paul H. Rubin after criticism from economists John J. Donohue and Justin Wolfers.
Scholarly article by H. Naci Mocan & R. Kaj Gittings, University of Colorado at Denver. "We find statistically significant relationships between homicide and executions, commutations and removals. Specifically, each additional execution (commutation) reduces (increases) homicides by about 5, while an additional removal from death row generates about one additional murder." (Journal of Law and Economics, vol. 46, no. 2, pp. 453-478 (October 2003)
Testimony delivered on June 27, 2007, before the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Property Rights of the Committee on the Judiciary of the United States Senate from David Muhlhausen, a Senior Policy Analyst in the Center for Data Analysis at The Heritage Foundation.
Interesting and thorough essay written by a strong opponent of Capital Punishment, Defense Attorney Andrew Hammel, who flatly states that the anti-DP movement has failed and offers suggestions on how to get it back on the right track: Admit failure and take responsibility for it; Avoid bogus claims of innocence; Do not make martyrs or heroes out of death row inmates; De-emphasize demonstrations; Don't rely on the law, our main focus should be on changing public opinion first.
At the request of Governor O'Bannon, the Commission held hearings for almost 2 years in order to answer the following questions: 1. Whether safeguards are in place to ensure that an innocent person is not executed; 2. Whether our special rules requiring definitively trained capital defense counsel are working to ensure that a capital defendant’s legal representation is properly qualified; 3. Whether the review procedures in place in Indiana and in our federal Seventh Circuit appellate courts result in a full and fair review of capital cases; 4. How the cost of a death penalty case compares to that of a case where the charge and conviction is life without parole; 5. Whether Indiana imposes capital sentencing in a race neutral manner; 6. Whether Indiana should consider any changes in its capital sentencing statute.
"In response to the increased scrutiny of Florida’s capital cases; specifically, a recent study claiming that Florida has the highest rate of death row releases, the commission has researched in-depth the 24 cited cases where individuals have been released from death row. Of these 24 inmates, none were found “innocent,” even when acquitted, because no such verdict exists. A defendant is found guilty or not guilty, never innocent. The guilt of only four defendants, however, was subsequently doubted by the prosecuting office or the Governor and Cabinet."
Excerpt from Justice For All pro-death penalty article "Death Penalty and Sentencing Information," responding to the Bedau and Radelet Study on the risk of wrongful execution. (10/01/97)
Excerpt from Justice For All pro-death penalty article "Death Penalty and Sentencing Information," thoroughly addressing the alleged racism in the administration of the death penalty in the United States. (10/01/97)
Excerpt from Justice For All pro-death penalty article "Death Penalty and Sentencing Information," thoroughly addressing the general and specific deterrent effects of the death penalty in the United States. (10/01/97)
Excerpt from Justice For All pro-death penalty article "Death Penalty and Sentencing Information," thoroughly addressing the financial costs of the death penalty as opposed to life imprisonment without parole in the United States. (10/01/97)
Excerpt from Justice For All pro-death penalty article "Death Penalty and Sentencing Information," thoroughly addressing religion and the death penalty, with significant Biblical citations and references, and commentary from Justice For All. (10/01/97)
"Hollywood, Murder, and Texas - Death Row Inmate Gary Graham and the Anti-Death Penalty Movement: A Case Study of Lies, Half-Truths and Intimidation." (1994) Thorough Justice For All article detailing the fraud of Hollywood and the "movement," and their campaign of disinformation.
Thorough article from Dudley Sharp (Justice For All), published in the weekly E-Zine IntellectualCapital.Com, addressing the alleged bias and racism in the administration of the death penalty in the United States. (June 1999)
Excerpt from Pro-Death Penalty article, addressing the risk of executing the innocent. (10/01/99)
Short commentary on the 1980's fraud perpetrated by the anti-death penalty forces through the Bedau and Radelet study of innocents executed, with the willing assistance of the media, and the response by Markman and Cassell.
"Besides, there is a more important reason to reject the over-100 claim: It's not true. DPIC counts people as "innocent" when they were released from death row for reasons wholly unrelated to any belief that they did not commit the crime charged."
The Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) Innocence List (“Innocence: Freed from Death Row”) is frequently cited as support for the claim that 102 innocent prisoners have been released from Death Rows across the nation. This list is uncritically accepted as definitive. However, an examination of the premises and sources of the List raises serious questions about whether many of the allegedly innocent prisoners named on The List are actually innocent at all. By Ward A. Campbell. Supervising Deputy Attorney General, State of California.
Thorough article addressing the concerns of wrongful convictions and execution of the innocent: I. Innocents Released from Death Row: A Critical Review of the Claims; What is the real number?; II. The Risk to Innocents if We Don't Execute; III. Due Process and The Risk to Innocents (Protecting innocent defendants / inmates sacrificing the innocent); IV. OK to Execute the Innocent?; V. Future innocence considerations; VI. The Innocent Executed; VII. Conclusion. From Dudley Sharp, Justice For All, Director of Death Penalty Resources.
An examination of alleged cases of wrongful conviction from false confessions, from Paul G. Cassell, a University of Utah law professor, emerging as one of the few spokesmen to challenge the anti-death penalty movement.
Full statement of Paul G. Cassell, Associate Law Professor at the University of Utah, given to the Committee on the Judiciary, United States House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights, concerning claims of innocence in capital cases. ". . . the risk to innocent life from failing to carry out capital sentences imposed under contemporary safeguards far outweighs the speculative and remote risk that an execution might be in error.
Thorough response to the misinformation and distortion of facts revealed in the arguments by many death row inmates and death penalty opponents, as well as significant media outlets.
Pro-DP article addressing 10 recent arguments against the death penalty, including Racism, Cost, Innocance, DNA Evidence, Cruel and Unusual, Pro-Life Consistency, The Company We Keep, No Deterrance, Christian Forgiveness, No Mercy).
Timothy McVeigh's execution is noteworthy for another reason: Its failure to provoke the usual outcries against the death penalty, or sympathy for the defendant. The opponents of the death penalty have been unusually quiet about the sentence. Timothy McVeigh, like Adolf Eichmann, was a murderer, and I can think of no reason why he should not have been made to pay for his crimes with his life.
"It must be reiterated again and again that to defend innocent human life (the operative word being "innocent") is not inconsistent with the position that those guilty of heinous crimes should be punished to the full extent the natural and civil law allows. All of human history, including the history described in the Holy Scriptures with God's commands and the natural law are on our side."
Article from Texas State Senator and Anesthesiologist Kyle Janek: "Having no hope of overturning capital punishment itself at the ballot box or through the court system, a few vocal death penalty opponents, including inmates, have rolled out a new strategy attacking the inclusion of pancuronium bromide as one of the medications used in the lethal injection process." (Reposted by Criminal Justice Legal Foundation)
Columnist describes the virtues of capital punishment and the disaster wrought by the death penalty moratorium of the 1960's. (Boston Globe)
Abstract of article by Eugene H. Methvin, "Death Penalty Is Fairer Than Ever," Wall Street Journal, May 10, 2000.
List of 28 separate due process and procedural safeguards afforded the defendant at trial and on appeal, before execution, from Justice For All.
News article on the increasing willingness of academia to stand for the death penalty: "Academics who back executions are gaining some acceptance. Meanwhile, Blecker says he's getting asked to more academic conferences on the death penalty — usually as the only voice in favor. 'A lion in a den of Daniels' is one way I've been introduced, he says."
Excellent editorial appearing in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Los Angeles Times written by talk show host Dennis Prager. (The dilemma of death penalty opponents about the execution of Timothy McVeigh)
Excerpt from Pro-Death Penalty article, addressing LWOP as an unacceptable alternative to the death penalty. (10/01/99)
20 years after Steven Judy murdered Terry Chastain and her 3 children, a news reporter interviews the prosecutor, Judge, and defense attorney. (inactive link)
"Capital crime and punishment is not a subject I enjoy. It became personal on Oct. 26, 1981. Don't let anyone tell you time heals all wounds. It does not. And the recent debate over whether a state should execute a convicted murdering thug just keeps open the wound." Opinion article from "The World and I Online." Also includes counter argument "Do We Need the Death Penalty? It is Immoral and Ineffective," by Steven W. Hawkins. (Heaven forbid that someone would publish a pro-death penalty article without an opposing viewpoint!)
Opinion article from The National Review Online: "A genuinely civilized society would take a very different view. It would pay more attention to the cries of the victims than to its own squeamishness. And it would transfer its compassion from the David Westerfields of this world to the Danielle Van Dams."
Pro-Death Penalty Resource, Statistics, Recent News Reports, Executions/Stays, Forum. "Established in March of 2006, we are here to provide you with accurate death penalty information, up to date case histories, landmark cases, history of the death penalty and current statistics. Discussions and debates are a major part of this site."
Opinion column from talk show host Dennis Prager: "A couple of weeks ago, three New Hampshire prisoners, one a convicted murderer, escaped from prison. What if the murderer had murdered again? On whose hands would the victim's blood have been?"
Wall Street Journal Editorial from University of Utah law professor Paul G. Cassell: "The Bureau of Justice Statistics has found that of 52,000 inmates serving time for homicide, more than 800 had previously been convicted of murder. That sounds like a system collapsing under the weight of its own mistakes -- and innocent people dying as a result."
News reports showing specific examples of murderers who were allowed to murder again.
Excerpt from Pro-Death Penalty article, addressing the morality and philosophy of the death penalty. (10/01/99)
Opinions that only a victim and survivors can tell - a blog entry from the brother of a homicide victim, murdered in 1995 in Florida.
"The problem with this scenario of the collapse of capital punishment in the face of science is that it's just as easy to envision the opposite. If it ever becomes possible to decide conclusively who is innocent and who is guilty, executing the innocent will no longer be a hazard."
Essay from "Casey's Critical Thinking," answering moral arguments against the death penalty, including a critical response to the well-worn slogan "Why do we kill people to teach people that killing is wrong?"
Magazine article from a former Assistant Arizona Attorney General. "A much-needed reform seemed poised to hasten executions, until federal judges got their hands on it."
Excerpt from Pro-Death Penalty article, addressing alleged racism in the application of the death penalty. (10/01/99)
"The first step toward that end is to debunk the myth that capital punishment is imposed discriminatorily. The numbers are there in the opponents’ own studies, once we cut through the spin and look at the facts." (CJLF October 2003)
Excerpt from Pro-Death Penalty article, rebutting cliched arguments against capital punishment. (10/01/99)
Excerpt from Pro-Death Penalty article, addressing the deterrent effects of capital punishment. (10/01/99)
July 1, 1996 news article By Maureen Castellano on New Jersey Supreme Court opinion making families of murder victims parties in capital cases for the first time, and allowing victim-impact evidence with restrictions.
Short summary of arguments, pro and con, on the issue of deterrence.
"In the strange reticence of the usually vocal anti-death penalty spokesmen to plead for McVeigh, we see a lingering vestige of that respect for victims, understood by Aeschylus and Wordsworth, without which morality cannot exist. When that vestige dies, the value of life dies with it."
Short summary of arguments, pro and con, on the issue of wrongful convictions and executing the innocent.
Excerpt from Pro-Death Penalty article, addressing the financial costs of the death penalty. (10/01/99)
Excerpts from the book, "Individual Liberty: Selections From the Writings of Benjamin R. Tucker." While not "pro-death penalty," Tucker does address and condemn the often-repeated statement from opponents of the death penalty, that executions by the state equates with murder. (1926)
Comment on the New York Times continuance of the ugly tradition by death penalty opponents concluding that there is no deterrence because no-death states have a lower homicide rate. In fact, even the Times own graphs show that homicides have declined much more sharply in states with the death penalty than without. What is needed is high school calculus.
"Presumably grants of clemency on such a basis should be rare, since there probably are rapidly diminishing social returns to death-row advocacy, along with diminished deterrence as a result of fewer executions. For the more murderers under sentence of death there are who publicly denounce murder and other criminality, the less credibility the denunciations have."
Response to the blog postings by Becker and Posner on the economics of capital punishment.
Our official name: The Coalition for the Celebration of the Enrichment of Texas Society Through state Capital Punishment Implementation. Membership Requirements: Must consume at least one shot of liqueur in celebration of each inmate executed by the State of Texas or otherwise designated by board member; Must be an advocate of the Death Penalty, as outlined by the State of Texas, etc...
A collection of articles and editorials from Dudley Sharp, Director of Death Penalty Resources at Justice for All.
Full text of brief filed in opposition to the Clemency Petition of California Death Row Inmate Kevin Cooper, filed by the San Bernardino District Attorney. (Posted by Criminal Justice Legal Foundation)
A nationwide study revealing serious errors in many Florida and Georgia death penalty cases has prosecutors on the defensive, arguing that the report shows a bias against capital punishment."These statistics are an attempt by a certain group to try to make brutal murderers out as victims of the system, . . . Currie, a prosecutor for 20 years, characterized the study as little more than propaganda for death penalty opponents.
Transcript of the Government's Closing Argument asking for the death penalty in the McVeigh trial, delivered by Beth Wilkinson on June 12, 1997. (From "A Call For Reckoning: Religion and the Death Penalty" Conference held January 25, 2002.)
Transcript of the Government's Closing Argument asking for conviction in the McVeigh trial, delivered by Larry D. Mackey on May 29, 1997. Also, Opening statements from the Government and the Defense, as well as transcripts of the testimony of key witnesses.
A victims resource from "Justice For All," serving as a memorial to the many innocent victims of violent crime and a source for murder statistics, news items, discussion and information. Places the focus back on the victim instead of the perpetrator. Victim survivors can come here to find help, ask questions, give and get advice.
Short Pro-Death Penalty Essay from Capitalism.Org. "Any man who murders another man, has declared that he does not accept the principle of individual rights."
Articles from the Wall Street Journal: "Why the Death Penalty Is Fair" by Walter Berns and Joseph Bessette, January 9, 1998; "Why the Unabomber Must Die" by James Tarant, January 6, 1998.
Series of Pro-Death Penalty articles, including: Death Penalty Report Widely Misinterpreted; Death-Penalty Opponents Seize On "Underage"; Condemned Prisoners Opting To Die; Myth Of Racism In Death Penalty; Executions And Death Sentences Trailing Off; Upholding The Death Penalty; Death Penalty Questioned; Even With Death Penalty, Most Killers Walk; Capital Punishment Saves Lives; Race & Capital Punishment ; Enlarging the Death Penalty.
1868 speech in English Parliament by John Stuart Mill opposing proposed abolition of death penalty in England.
"Many recent academic studies have attempted to control for various extraneous variables that might be accounting for the apparent deterrent effect of executions. These studies have concluded that the apparent deterrent effect is not merely apparent. Instead, it is real. If so, then innocent blacks would derive the most benefit from maintaining capital punishment."
Long, pro-death penalty essay, heavy on philosophy and religion, by Alexander Campbell of the Restoration Movement (1846).
Personal pro-DP statement of Charles Colson of Prison Fellowship and Watergate infamy from 2004.
Short Pro-Death Penalty essay on the positive deterrent effect of capital punishment with a moral that you can twist statistics to prove almost anything. By Jay Johansen. (1998)
Excellent short essay answering the often-repeated ACLU theme that when the State executes a murderer, it is no better than the murderer. By Jay Johansen. (1995)
Short Pro-Death Penalty essay on the positive deterrent effect of capital punishment, using murder rates from states with and without the death penalty as support.
Capital punishment deters murder, and is just retribution. Capital punishment, is the execution of criminals by the state for committing crimes, regarded so heinous, that this is the only acceptable punishment. Capital punishment does not only lower the murder rate, but its value as retribution alone is a good reason for handing out death sentences.
Short pro-death penalty essay from Randy Alcorn, Director of Eternal Perspective Ministries, with emphasis on ethics and religion.
Short biblical answers to common objections raised against capital punishment. (Morris Fork, West Virginia Baptist Church)
Short pro-death penalty opinion article.
Short pro-death penalty opinion term paper from high school student Sarah Decker.
Advocates the use of capital punishment and contains a detailed study outline on the subject, primarily from a biblical perspective.
Hundreds of biblical verses in support of Capital Punishment, interpreted by a self-described pro-capital punishment catholic.
Canadian site from the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance with a good discussion of pro and con, with emphasis on religion and with links.
Thorough Pro-Death Penalty article with significant Biblical citations and references, with commentary from Wesley Lowe.
Pro-Death Penalty essay criticizing the anti-death penalty policies of Pope John Paul II, with links and citations to the Sequential Authority Structure and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Pro-DP essay on the role of the church in modern society: "Reducing matters of morality to private elitism, public opinion, or mushy religious sentiment will only obscure the pressing issues of our culture. How contemporary American society in the future will view the moral difference between crime and punishment depends to a great extent on the church’s involvement in ongoing cultural debate — and on the influence of CNN. Stay tuned."
Short pro-death penalty essay from Joshua Marquis, District Attorney of Clatsop County, Oregon and past President of the National District Attorneys Association. Published in the Oregon State Bar Bulletin in response to an anti-death penalty article publiched the month before.
Pro-DP essay with biblical emphasis listing three good resaons to support death penalty: The Death Penalty Honors God; The Death Penalty Is A Deterrent to Crime; The Death Penalty Is Good for the Environment. (From BibleBelievers.Com)
Well organized study outline discussing the Bible and the Death Penalty. (1994)
"So it boils down to this: The Bible allows (but does not mandate) CP. The contextual grounding within which it was applied in the Bible is now different in modern society, and we must look at the issue accordingly."
"Moore, who supports the use of the death penalty, argued that Romans 13 gives the government the right to punish those who do wrong. I believe that Scripture mandates that the government take this position in order to preserve public justice and order."
Thoughtful pro-DP essay from Gregory Koukl: "Whether the government kills millions of innocent Jews or a single vicious and unrepentant murderer, the death penalty diminishes us all. This was one of those pieces that stands out for me as an example of a lack of moral clarity -- an inability to make valuable moral distinctions regarding behavior. Of course, I expect such a thing in a culture that is run through and through with relativistic thinking, and has a view of man that diminishes him to a mere machine."
"Death-penalty supporters are raising questions about the fairness of state commissions charged with studying how capital punishment is carried out in Maryland and Tennessee, claiming the panels will issue reports that ignore their views."
Pro-DP essay with biblical emphasis from James and Dave's Bible Page, an interactive Full Gospel Christian site: "The death of anyone-even a convicted killer-diminishes us all. But we are diminished even more by a justice system that fails to function. It is an illusion to let ourselves believe that doing away with capital punishment removes the murderers deed from our conscience...When we protect guilty lives, we give up innocent lives in exchange."
Pro -DP Biblical responses to "Turn the other Cheek"; "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first"; "But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."; "Judge not, that you be not judged."; "Vengeance is Mine, I Will repay," says the Lord."; "Thou shalt not kill".
Thoughts on the Torah and punishment by Rabbi Stephen Pearce, Jewish Bulletin of Northern California.(1996)
"The Bible makes it crystal clear that the way one acknowledges that human souls are created in God`s image and deserving of respect and dignity is through capital punishment."
Pro-Death Penalty Canadian site with links.
Short pro-DP essay by Lisa from StudyWorld.
Short pro-DP essay by Patrick Meehan: "And as with a tooth, so with a life. We require a life in retribution for a slaying so that the civil order may once again be in balance. The rhythms of daily life, thrown into disorder by a murderous assault that ended a life, are restored by the execution of the assailant, and can be restored in no other way."
Website dedicated to the Philadelphia Police Officer murdered by Mumia Abu Jamal, the prolific "journalist" convicted and sentenced to death in 1982, who has mounted an aggressive web campaign of disinformation. Facts from the trial and appeal are provided to dispel myths created by that campaign.
Website tribute to the Philadelphia Police Officer murdered by Mumia Abu Jamal, the prolific "journalist" convicted and sentenced to death in 1982, who has mounted an aggressive web campaign of disinformation. This site describes the fund raising tribute dinner in the officer's name, from Philadelphia attorney Michael A. Smerconish.
Short pro-death penalty biblical essay by Glenn Dunehew.
Urgent Please Act Now!; Gone But Not Forgotten; 9-1 On DRow/16-2 Victims; NJ DP Study Problems; Facts and Common Sense; Petition; Contact NJ Lawmakers; Contact Us.
Detailed pro-death penalty biblical essay by conservative news/talk show host Bob Enyart.
Very short statement with the thesis that all punishments are to keep society from falling into the belief that the only way they can get justice is to exact a personal revenge. (Gil Warren)
Pro-Death Penalty organization founded in 1977, whose primary mission is to defend and promote the principles of free enterprise and individual rights through advocacy of free-enterprise principles, limited government, property rights, and reform of the civil and criminal justice system.
The death penalty provides a means to restore respect for innocent life.
Capital punishment protects the innocent and properly transfers burden of crime to the guilty.
Opponents of capital punishment shed few tears for the many victims of judicial leniency.
Very short statement with the thesis that all punishments are to keep society from falling into the belief that the only way they can get justice is to exact a personal revenge. (Gil Warren)
Opinion article claiming that the worst opponents of capital punishment are not ethical. They ignore victims and make martyrs of murderers. They sabotage the system at taxpayer expense, then say executions are too costly. Defense lawyers salt the record with deliberate mistakes, then say the killer had a lousy defense. The latest twist looks like more of the same.
The study touted by anti-death penalty activists, claiming to show that American capital sentences are "fraught with error," is itself riddled with unjustified assumptions and false statements, according to CJLF.
Opponents of capital punishment recently captured national attention with the release of a biased and flawed report. The report omits critical information and was designed to support the preordained conclusions of its authors.
Conservative columnist Ann Coulter makes the point that the arguments against the death penalty are puffed up with phony statistics and false facts. Most recently capturing attention with reports of releases from death row. However, as the entire country ought to know after the O.J. trial, not being in prison doesn't mean you're innocent.
Analogous to amputation, capital punishment removes diseased members to protect society.
Short pro-death penalty essay, discussing cruel and unusual punishment, deterrence, cost and efficiency, and morality.
Short pro-death penalty term paper.
A 10 question Bible quiz on the issue of capital punishment. Answers are submitted, and the score is automatically tabulated with citations and explanations of correct and incorrect answers.
Capital punishment is not only an act of justice; it is also an act of mercy, even for the executed.
Under the Constitution, it is up to the states to decide whether to have a death penalty.
Capital punishment is society's way of demonstrating respect for life.
"Are we effectively punishing our most vile and baneful criminals? I believe some improvement to be necessary; the death penalty should be legalized in all states." (1,121 words)
Pro-Death Penalty article by UCLA Political Science student, Aanand N. Patel for student newspapaer. (1996)
Pro-Death Penalty article by UCLA Political Science student, Aanand N. Patel for student newspapaer. (2001)
Pro-Death Penalty term paper written by high school student Ryan Koder for CollegeTermPapers.Com.
Pro-DP term paper written by relative of murder victim.
Op-Ed piece from the Washington Times, immediately following the announcement of a Maryland moratorium from Governor Glandening, suggesting that it was done for political purposes, and very little to do with justice. (Reposted by the Community of Sant'Egidio)
Established by the Justice Center at the University of Alaska Anchorage in the wake of a debate on whether to introduce capital punishment to Alaska. Historical emphasis is 1972 to present, with links to U.S. Supreme Court cases.
Timeline from 1622 to the present showing noteworthy events in the history of capital punishment in the United States, with historical summaries and an emphasis on recent legal events.
Article from the March/April 1997 issue of Salt of the Earth magazine by Kevin Clarke. Excellent discussion of capital punishment in the 1970's, with factual details of Furman and Gregg. (anti-death penalty slant)
Thorough article discussing capital punishment in the U.S. during the 20th century, summarizing the notorious trials of Sacco and Vanzetti, Bruno Hauptman, the Scottsboro Boys, the Rosenbergs, Caryl Chessman, and Karla Faye Tucker; Also outlines the rulings of the Warren and Renquist Supreme Courts.
"History of the Death Penalty" by Michael H. Reggio (PBS Frontline), excerpted from Society's Final Solution: A History and Discussion of the Death Penalty. From ancient China and the Code of Hammurabi to the Middle Ages and the American Colonies, a detailed discussion.
History of the Death Penalty from the perspective of an anti-death penalty group, with a timeline and detailed legal history discussion.
Entry for Capital Punishment includes historical narrative tracing use from primitive cultures to the present.
Brief timeline presented by PBS Frontline:Angel on Death Row (1998).
CBS News feature report with interactive maps and timelines showing statistics, history, famous cases, publications and links on the death penalty.
Brief history of the death penalty, from the Code of King Hammaurabi of Babylon, to colonial times, up to the present day.
Very brief historical summary of capital punishment from Court TV, emphasizing 1970's but noting first execution in 1622.
Highlights in the history of the death penalty 1607-2004.
Brief list of links addressing the history of the death penalty in the U.S., state by state, and worldwide, country by country.
The National Death Penalty Archive, the first archive in the nation that is exclusively dedicated to the history of the death penalty in the United States, opened August 9, 2005. The archives are housed in the University at Albany's M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives.
Brief history of the federal prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay provided by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Information on public executions in Early Modern England, specifically London. Maintained by Charlie Mitchell, Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Timeline of hanging in Britain; Listing of those hanged this century; Hangmen since 1850; The history and process of execution by hanging, from Capital Punishment - U.K.
Complete text of 26 chapter book written about the execution of Rainey Bethea on August 14, 1936, hanged in Owensboro, Kentucky, before a crowd of 20,000. The public outrage which followed resulted in the complete abolition of public executions in the United States. (with photo)
Historical summary of the case of Caleb Adams, who in 1803 murdered six year old Oliver Woodworth in Connecticut, and was tried, convicted, and executed.
A history of the infamous Salem Witch Trials of 1692.
A brief undocumented history of ancient civilizations, including Greeks and Romans.
A brief history of recent legal events concerning the Death Penalty in America.
Brief encyclopedia entry, with historical highlights of the death penalty.
This collection contains news clippings, newsletters, campaign materials, letters of plea, flyers and notices of rallies, research materials, organizational reports, and publications on the issue of the death penalty.
The life story of Mary Surratt and her involvement in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Compiled from the research of James O. Hall, published and copyrighted by the Surratt Society of Clinton, Maryland.
The history of the electric chair and death by execution, including What is AC? What is DC? The Birth of Electrocution; Westinghoused.
Very brief timeline (1880-1890) of the electric chair, from Canadian Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.
Scholarly paper examining the execution of U.S. soldiers during World War II. It describes the crimes, defendants and victims for 18 military executions that took place in England, 1943-1945.
Scholarly paper examining the execution of U.S. soldiers in England during World War II. It describes the purpose of the executions was to control a perceived danger: the socializing of African American troops with British females, and the possible explosive violence between caucasian and African American troops.
Excellent discussion of the death penalty in Alaska, including recent legislative efforts to reinstitute the death penalty.
Brief history of the Death Penalty in Arizona, including list of executed prisoners by name, date and method, with last meal requests, provided by the Arizona Department of Corrections.
Excellent discussion of the death penalty in California from the California Department of Corrections.
Very brief summary of the death penalty in Colorado from the Colorado Department of Corrections.
Thorough essay on Colorado death penalty history, with Catalog of Colorado Executions and Colorado Execution Statistical Tables.
Brief history of the Death Penalty in Delaware, including list of executed prisoners, current death row, and execution procedures, provided by the Delaware Department of Corrections.
Brief history of the Death Penalty in Florida, prticularly the use of the electric chair, provided by the Florida Department of Corrections.
Brief history of the Death Penalty in Illinois, given as part of an introduction to the law review article: "The Quality of Justice in Capital Cases: Illinois as a Case Study," by Leigh B. Bienen. (61 Law & Contemp. Probs. 193 Autumn 1998)
Brief history of the Death Penalty in Indiana as part of a collection of news reports from the Indianapolis Star newspaper.
Chronological Timeline of the death penalty in Iowa 1834-2001, from Iowans Against the Death Penalty.
Detailed report on the history of capital punishment in Maryland, with a discussion of the recent administration of the death penalty and its problems, and with specific findings and recommendations for the future. (Report Of The Governor's Commission On The Death Penalty, (April 27, 1994)
Brief history of capital punishment in Maryland, with timeline from 1978, provided by the Maryland Citizens Against State Executions.
Brief history of the death penalty in Massachusetts
Law Review article tracing the history of the death penalty in Massachusetts and its abolition from 1928-1984.
Very brief history of Capital Punishment in Michigan compiled by Marietta Jaeger-Lane, provided by the Citizens United for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.
Brief history of Capital Punishment in Missouri provided by the Missouri Department of Corrections and Missouri.Net, including a listing of executed prisoners since 1938.
"The first known execution by the State of Mississippi was July 16, 1818, in Adams County with the hanging of George H. Harman, a white male, for “stealing a Negro.” From Don Cabana, former Warden who presided over executions at Mississippi State Penetentiary.
From an article written by Guy Louis Rocha, "An Outline of Capital Punishment in Nevada." List of executions 1861-2004.(updated April 20, 2007)
News article on the execution of Sebastian Bridges in 2001, with brief summaries of the previous 8 executions in the state of Nevada since 1976.
Brief summaries of executions in New Mexico territory and state from 1913-1960.
Very brief history of the death penalty in New Mexico as part of a state commissioned study conducted by the League of Women Voters. (2005-06)
A paper written by Kenneth W. Mentor, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, University of North Carolina Pembroke, which focuses on the 2001 execution of Terry Clark and includes a very brief history of the death penalty in New Mexico. (2002)
Brief history of Capital Punishment in North Carolina provided by the North Carolina Department of Correction.
Brief history of Capital Punishment in North Dakota provided by the North Dakota Supreme Court.
Brief history of Capital Punishment in Ohio provided by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.
Brief history of Capital Punishment in Ohio provided an anti-death penalty group.
Scholarly article from the Ohio State Law Journal Vol. 63: 1 (2002), with a foreward which highlights historoical developments of capital punishment in the U.S.
Brief history of Capital Punishment in Oklahoma provided by the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.
Brief summaries of 134 Oklahoma death row inmates case and appeal status, with photos, from TulsaWorld.Com.
Brief article on the origins of lethal injection as a means of execution originating in Oklahoma.
Brief history of Capital Punishment in Oregon 1864-1996 provided by the Oregon Department of Corrections, with executions and current death row information, and methods of execution, with photo of death chamber.
Brief history of Capital Punishment in Pennsylvania from Kimberly & Albrecht Powell. (About.Com)
Brief history of Capital Punishment in South Carolina provided by the South Carolina Department of Corrections.
Brief chronology of the death penalty in Tennessee provided by the Tennessee Department of Correction.
Brief history of the Death Penalty in Texas, including list of executed prisoners by name, date and method, provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Brief history of the Death Penalty in Utah, by L. Kay Gillespie, from "The Unforgiven: A History of Utah's Executed Men." (1991)
Brief history of the Death Penalty in Washington State, with list of executions and current death row.
Brief legal history of the Death Penalty in Washington State, with list of executions and current death row, from the Washington Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.
Brief history of the death penalty in West Virginia. "Thy Brother's Blood": Capital Punishment in West Virginia," by Stan Bumgardner and Christine Kreiser.
Brief history of the death penalty in Wisconsin, detailing the last execution in 1851, where a man convicted of murdering his wife was hanged, but it took nearly 10 minutes for him to die.
Brief history of the death penalty in Wisconsin, detailing the last execution of John McCaffary in 1851. "A Brief History of Wisconsin's Death Penalty." Wisconsin law has been without the death penalty for 140 years, maintaining this tradition longer than any other state in the nation.
A Collection of Historical Accounts. Excellent Internet Bibliography. In recent years, Kenosha has witnessed the reawakening of interest in the events surrounding John McCaffray and the abolition of the death penalty in Wisconsin a century and a half distant in the past. However, some members of the community seem stubbornly determined to retain their nostalgic, if factually bankrupt, view of this dark period of Kenosha's history. But as Mr Burkel states: "nostalgia isn't history." In the interest of making fact based material available on the internet, you can access the following accounts of the events by simply clicking on the title below:
Handbook on the death penalty, with citations to federal and state cases and articles; Historical and statutory and case summaries from Oregon, California, Washington, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, and Nevada, published by the United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeal in 1999, also downloadable in Adobe Acrobat format.
Complete listing of all executions in the United States since 1976; Date of Execution, State of Execution, Method of Execution, Murderer's Name-Race-Sex-Age at murder and execution, Date of Birth of Murderer, Victim's Name-Race-Sex-Age at murder and execution, Date of Murder, Method of Murder, Victim Relationship to Murderer, Date of Sentencing; Factual and legal summaries with reposted news accounts of case.
Probably the single most comprehensive and authoritative internet rersource on the death penalty, with stats conscienciously kept up-to-date. List of executions since 1976 by name, date, state, method, and race of defendant and victim; State per capita execution rates; Number of executions since 1976 by region and state, and by method; List of recent executions (98-00) with very brief commentary; Size of death row by state and since 1965; State by state info on death row, minimum age, LWOP option, method of execution, clemency process; Info on abolition or last execution in no-DP states.
The following is a detailed State by State listing of 14,490 executions that occurred under civil authority in the United States or within territory that later became the United States. From George Kendal being shot for espionage in Virginia (1608) until Gary Gilmore met his maker for murder in Utah (1977). Executions are also broken down chronologically, by race and gender, by juveniles, by method of execution, by (non-homicide) conviction. Outstanding work developed from The Espy Files.
(As of January 1, 2007) A quarterly report by the Capital Punishment Project of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc., hosted by the Death Penalty Information Center. A complete listing of all current death row prisoners in the United States, by name, race, sex, and juveniles; Summaries of racial and gender characteristics of those executed, on death row, and their victims; Summaries of recent U.S. Supreme Court cases.
Yearly publication of the U.S. Department of Justice with detailed statistics and history of the death penalty in the U.S. Demographics (race, age, gender, education, criminal history) on those executed and current death row; Number on U.S. death row since 1953; Number executed since 1930 and since 1977 by state and by year; List of jurisdictions with and without death penalty, with summary of statutes and recent statutory changes; Methods of execution and minimum age by state; Time on death row of those executed. Availability lags approximately one year behind. (PDF, Ascii, or Spreadsheet format)
Yearly publication of the U.S. Department of Justice with detailed statistics and history of the death penalty in the U.S. Archive of older publications maintained by American Society of Criminologists. (Text format)
Yearly publication of the U.S. Department of Justice with detailed statistics on the number and demographics of inmates incarcerated in federal, state, and local institutions; probationers and parolees; Changes and trends in incarceration rates. Availability lags approximately one year behind.
Supported by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Sourcebook brings together data from more than 100 sources about all aspects of criminal justice in the United States. These data are displayed in over 600 tables. Sourcebook is organized into six topical sections: Characteristics of the criminal justice systems, Public attitudes toward crime and criminal justice-related topics, Nature and distribution of known offenses, Characteristics and distribution of persons arrested, Judicial processing of defendants, and Persons under correctional supervision. Includes archives of Sourcebook since 1994.
Complete list of executed prisoners in the United States from 1608-2002; List of executed prisoners from 1967 to present by name, date, state and method; British executions. (Hosted by Death Penalty Information Center)
News reports on each execution in the United States from 1998-present; Prison Related Links, Prisoner Homepages.
List of jurisdictions with or without death penalty; Current death row population by state; Death Row size since 1968.
Established by the Justice Center at the University of Alaska Anchorage in the wake of a debate on whether to introduce capital punishment to Alaska. Links to Bureau of Justice Capital Punishment 1992-2003; Executions and death row listings of specific populations, including women and juveniles.
From Rick Halperin and Joan Brett. List of executed prisoners since 1977 by name, date, state, method, and names of victims; Number of executions since 1977 by year and state; Texas executions by county; Upcoming executions scheduled.
List of U.S. executed prisoners 1996-2004 by name, date, race, state and method, with very brief news summary on each case; Impending executions; Execution Statistics.
List of U.S. executed prisoners 1998-2008 (up-to-date) by name, date, state and method; Executions by state and by year since 1976; Current authorized methods of execution by state.
Tables showing state by state number and method of executions, number on death row, population, homicide rates as of January 1, 2005; State by state summary of death penalty laws; Female executions 1900-2005; Female Hangings 1632-1900.
Complete list of prisoners executed by the federal government 1927-2008; Date, place and method of execution, Offense Committed.
Publication of the U.S. Department of Justice on the death penalty in the U.S. All executions since 1976 have been for murder or conspiracy to commit murder, although other crimes are eligible for the DP depending on what state you are in.
Number of Persons Executed by Jurisdiction, 1930-2007; Demographics (race, age, education, marital status, criminal history, length of stay) of prisoners on death row; Women On Death Row (as of 12/31/07); Methods of Execution and minimum age by state; Death Row "Exonerations." (1973-2007).
Map of U.S. showing states with and without death penalty; Summaries of statutes in each state and number of executions since 1930 and 1977. (As of April 1, 2000)
Methods of Execution by state; Illinois Death Row List 1977-1987 with very brief summary of charge; Bureau of Justice: Capital Punishment 1989-1997.
Chart showing executions state by state in each time frame: 1608-1699; 1700-1799; 1800-1899; 1900-1967; Pre-Furman Total; 1976-2001; Grand Total, from "Before the Needles" by Rob Gallagher.
Short summary of capital punishment statistics through 1999 (including year by year execution totals from 1930-1999)from Salt of the Earth Magazine.
Listing of the women executed in the United states before 1900.
Listing of the 49 women executed in the United states since 1900, by age, race, state, date of execution, and method of execution. (short summaries of most recent cases)
Demographics on opponents and proponents of the death penalty, including gender, politics, marital status, income, gun owners, stances on other divisive issues.
CBS News report on the 700th execution in the U.S. since reistatement in 1976; Interactive U.S. map with state by state listing of Capital Offenses, Method of Execution, Minimum Age, Executions during 2005, Executions (1977-2005), Prisoners On Death Row:
Listing of world countries that permit capital punishment, or have outlawed capital punishment and the year it was outlawed, citing information supplied by Amnesty International.

A California-based nonprofit public interest law organization dedicated to restoring a balance between the rights of crime victims and the criminally accused. Includes summaries of recent cases of interest in California, U.S. Court of Appeals, and U.S. Supreme Court, with index of 30+ amicus curiae briefs filed by CJLF in cases ranging from panhandling ordinances to the death penalty.
Outstanding collection of free links to Death Penalty / Capital Punishment Law: Court Decisions, U.S. Constitution, Federal Crimes Carrying the Death Penalty, Certain Federal Procedures for Capital Cases, United States Attorneys' Manual, Forms and Procedures, State Departments of Correction, Other Web Links.
Handbook on the death penalty, with citations to federal and state cases and articles; Federal death penalty procedure; Historical and statutory reviews of death penalty in Oregon, California, Washington, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, and Nevada, with case summaries, published by the United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. (March 10, 2006)
Homepage of the Illinois Appellate Public Defender with discussion of death penalty issues currently before the courts and death penalty materials available to trial and appellate counsel.
Online assistance for the federal capital defense lawyer, at trial, on appeal, or on habeas. Overview of federal death penalty statutes, brief bank, litigation guides, listing of legal research sites, summaries of death penalty opinions, upcoming training and seminars.
Homepage of the Louisiana Public Defender with discussion of death penalty issues and manuals available to trial and appellate counsel.
"An absorbing account of the ways in which defense attorneys represent capital defendants, showing how highly skilled defense attorneys are able to avoid death sentences for their clients in even the most aggravated cases, and how a group of dedicated lawyers have begun to transform the public's perception of capital punishment by revealing the extent to which innocent defendants are being sentenced to death."
Lawyer's group against the death penalty, providing capital defense updates, critical "information", publications for capital defense, internet resources and links.
Current Death Penalty News (scores of recent news articles nationwide); Special Reports; Law Reviews and Scholarly Articles; Death Penalty News Archives; Capital Defense Research Links. (New York emphasis)
Detailed Handbook of Florida death penalty trial procedures for Judges, from guilty verdict to jury instructions and sentencing orders. (October 1, 2006)
Full text of all United States Supreme Court Opinions from 1893, with seach by party, citation, browse by year, or full-text.
Full text of over 7,000 United States Supreme Court Opinions from 1937-1975, U.S. Reports Volume 300-422, with search engine. From FedWorld/Flite.
Historical Information on the Death Penalty: History of Death Penalty Laws, The U.S. and the Death Penalty; The U.S. Constitution and the Death Penalty: Death Penalty Challenges, Temporary Abolition of the Death Penalty, Reinstatement of the Death Penalty; Death Penalty Trends: Recent Developments, Recent Death Penalty Statistics; Capital Punishment Laws: Capital Punishment at the Federal Level.
Resource Guide for Managing Capital Trials, 59 pg, (2004); Resource Guide for Managing Capital Habeas Review, 32 pg, (2004); Forms for General Pretrial Orders, Appointment of Counsel, Orders appointing retained counsel, Order appointing second counsel, Notice of Intent to Seek the Death Penalty, Orders setting deadline for notice of intent, Orders appointing mitigation experts, Order appointing psychologist, Order appointing investigator, Sample case budget from Death Penalty Resource Counsel, Memorandum re interim payments for experts, Memorandum re counsel fees and expenses, Order of referral of cost management to magistrate judge, Order raising hourly rate for retained counsel, Order re funds for experts and consultants, Order reducing fees for non-death penalty case, Memoranda re: budget meeting with counsel, Order granting use of jury questionnaire, Sample juror questionnaires, Order to file joint proposed juror questionnaire, Descriptions of jury selection procedures, Introduction to voir dire and selection process, Script for jury voir dire, Order on motion for anonymous jury, Jury Instructions-Guilt Phase, Preliminary penalty-phase instructions, Penalty phase charges, Special-findings forms; Habeas forms.
Step by step handbook on the trial of a capital case in federal court, by Molly Treadway Johnson and Laural L. Hooper, published by the Federal Judicial Center.
Full text of 20 historic United States Supreme Court Death Penalty Opinions, from 1937 to 1987, including Furman, Gregg, Witherspoon, McKlesky, Booth, and Thompson.
Full text and syllabi of U.S. Supreme Court Death Penalty Opinions.
Complete set of links to statutes, legislation, administrative codes, and constitutions, state-by-state, from Scruffy.
Short list of historical Death Penalty Opinions 1972-1990.
Full text of the Dissenting Opinion of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun in the 1994 appeal of a Texas Death Row inmate in Callins v. Collins ("From this day forward, I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death. "
History of the Court, Landmark Decisions, Bios and Commentary on Current Justices, Preview of next Term.
A shrine to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, with links to his written court opinions and speeches, as well as a biography.
Critical article of the liberal jurisprudence of William Brennan while a Supreme Court Justice. Written by a political science professor at California State University.
Article outlining the history of "ineffective assistance of counsel," and noting some sleeping or walking violations of the Sixth Amendment, from Michael Mears, Georgia Capital Public Defender.
Florida State University Law Review article published at Volume 26, No. 4, Summer 1999, entitled: "What About Our Families? Using the Impact on Defendants' Family Members as a Mitigating Factor in Death Penalty Sentencing Hearings," by Rachel King (ACLU Legislative Counsel)and Katherine Norgard (Psychologist whose son was convicted in Arizona of murder).
List of recent (2001-2007) law review articles written by Cornell University Law School faculty. (no free links)
"This handbook provides fundamental information about how courts operate, trial procedures, general rules concerning capital murder cases, and the appeals process. It does not cover every rule or procedure concerning capital cases; however it is a place to start. The information provided will prepare you for what to expect." A jooint project of Grassroots Investigation Project (GRIP), Equal Justice Usa / Quixote Center, and the National Death Row Assistance Network of Cure (NDRAN).
This collection contains news clippings, newsletters, campaign materials, letters of plea, flyers and notices of rallies, research materials, organizational reports, and publications on the issue of the death penalty.
Article discussing New York appellate arguments requesting a higher standard of proof in death penalty cases so that the standard of proof would be "beyond all doubt" instead of "beyond a reasonable doubt."
Standards and guidelines for the reimbursement of capital defense expenditures by the State Public Defender Commission to Indiana counties; Annual Reports; Eligible Counties; List of approved Capital Case attorneys.
Standards and guidelines adopted by the American Bar Association on required trial experience, caseloads, and salary for trial and appellate attorneys in capital cases. At the very least it has made a select group of attorneys in death cases very wealthy.
"The mission of the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council is to ensure, independently of political considerations or private interests, that each client whose cause has been entrusted to a circuit public defender receives zealous, adequate, effective, timely, and ethical legal representation, consistent with the guarantees of the Constitution of the State of Georgia, the Constitution of the United States and the mandates of the Georgia Indigent Defense Act of 2003; to provide all such legal services in a cost efficient manner; and to conduct that representation in such a way that the criminal justice system operates effectively to achieve justice."
Homepage of Georgia Public Defenders who provide Death Penalty training and assistance in representation of those charged with the death penalty. Site includes articles and links.
PD Blog with daily posts from a Connecticut Public Defender, with links to articles.
"The rantings of a Public Defender constantly fighting against society's pervasive Police Industrial Complex. Enjoy the unique perspective of one whose life's work is to fight the system through the system."
Spotlight by Claire Schaeffer-Duffy on high-profile lawyers for the indigent in capital cases: Bryan Stevenson, Stephen Bright, John Holderidge.
News report on the head of the newly created Office of the Georgia Capital Defender, Christopher W. Adams, who quit his job after budget cuts by the legislature.
News report on the Georgia Public Defender spending debacle.
Obviously slanted news report on the Georgia Public Defender spending debacle.
"Amicus was set up in 1992 in memory of Andrew Lee Jones, who was executed in Louisiana in July 1991. The charity aims to help provide legal representation for those awaiting capital trial and punishment in the US and raise awareness of potential abuses of their rights." (London)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Editorial chastising then Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge for excluding members of the Capital Habeus Corpus Unit of the federal public defenders office in Philadelphia from a legislative attempt to provide capital defense for the indigent. (Re-posted by Fight the Death Penalty in the USA)
He sabotaged the case by deliberately missing a deadline for filing an appeal of the sentence. "I decided that Mr. Tucker deserved to die, and I would not do anything to prevent his execution," the lawyer, David B. Smith of Greensboro, N.C., said in a recent court affidavit.
Article describing two April 2000 Supreme Court decisions as providing a ray of hope for condemned prisoners by putting some teeth in the principle that death row inmates have a right to effective counsel.
Featured article on the inadequacy of indigent defense, particluarly in death penalty cases. Spotlighting Greene County, Georgia.
Recommendations prepared by the Judicial Conference of the United States, Committee on Defender Services, Subcommittee on Federal Death Penalty Cases, concerning the cost and quality of defense representation in federal death penalty cases. (May 1998) The recommendations in this report were adopted by the Judicial Conference of the United States on September 15, 1998.
This area is hosted by the ABA Death Penalty Representation Project, headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Project's Director is Elisabeth Semel, an experienced criminal defense lawyer who has handled capital cases at the trial and post-conviction stages, and the Project's Staff Attorney is Judy Gallant. The password-protected practice area contains online support and resources for its participating lawyers.
"Bush's proposed budget, now being debated by state lawmakers in Tallahassee, seeks to speed up executions by privatizing the capital-appeals process - moving the primary responsibility for death-row appeals to private-sector lawyers rather than lawyers working as state employees."
News article lamenting that Texas Public Defenders are appointed by the Trial Judge and are overworked and underpaid, resulting in death sentences.
Part of a long feature article, "Death Trip: The American Way of Execution." Emphasis on inadequate and substandard indigent defense.
"Despite the alibi testimony of family members, a jury convicted Logan and debated whether to recommend the death penalty. The story would not be remarkable but for the fact that Logan not only was innocent of the crime, but two lawyers who represented the actual killer knew it and kept silent." From the Cool Justice Report, exposing wrongdoing in the politically-charged worlds of cops and courts.
Comprehensive information on the Death Penalty in Indiana, including statistics, executions since 1900, current death row (with photos), Indiana death penalty laws, history, and methods of execution, with factual and legal summaries of all death penalty cases since 1977; Up-to-date information on the Death Penalty in the United States; Over 1500 death penalty links arranged by subject, including 90 pro-death penalty links.
A 5-part series from the Chicago Tribune on prosecutorial misconduct leading to reversal in murder cases. "A Tribune investigation found hundreds of homicide cases where prosecutors violated their oath by hiding evidence or twisting the truth. Innocent people went to prison, some to Death Row."
"Can Prosecutors Lie?" by Thomas H. Moore. (Summer 2004)
Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics Note provides an overview of recent developments in prosecutorial discretion to shade the truth when conducting undercover and otherwise lawful investigations.
A column giving a critical reply to the Chicago Tribune series of articles, "Trial and Error," spotlighting the response of the National District Attorneys Association and Oregon Prosecutor Joshua Marquis.
A ten-part series by Bill Moushey of the Pittsburg Post-Gazette, detailing examples of government misconduct by federal agents and prosecutors. They lied, hid evidence, distorted facts, engaged in cover-ups, paid for perjury and set up innocent people in a relentless effort to win indictments, guilty pleas and convictions, a two-year Post-Gazette investigation found."
Brief narrative on the issue from Capital Punishment in Context: A Resource for College Courses. "State prosecutors have sole discretion whether to pursue the death penalty against a defendant. The financial resources available in a jurisdiction, the views of constituents and the local political climate, and the prosecutor’s own views can affect the likelihood a defendant will face the death penalty. These factors can result in disparities in how often, and for what crimes, the death penalty is sought within a state."
A distinguished panel, but with a clear anti-death penalty slant, make up The Constitution Project, Death Penalty Initiative. Their recommendations include (Page 95): 28. Prosecutors should provide “open-file discovery” to the defense in death penalty cases; 29. Prosecutors should establish internal guidelines on seeking the death penalty in cases that are built exclusively on eyewitness identifications and statements of informants and co-defendants; 30. Prosecutors should engage in a period of reflection and consultation seeking the death penalty; 31. All capital jurisdictions should establish a Charging Review Committee to review prosecutorial charging decisions in death eligible cases.
Illinois Governor's Commission on Capital Punishment: Report to Governor Ryan. (April 12, 2002) Long-awaited report from the Illinois Commission on Capital Punishment, established by Governor George Ryan shortly after he instituted a moratorium on executions in the state of Illinois in 2000, following the highly publicized "exonerations" of 13 death row inmates since 1976. The report concludes with several controversial recommendations, all restricting the ability of prosecutors to seek a death sentence and the judge and jury's power to deliver one.
Comprehensive research study prepared by the California District Attorneys Association and Attorney General, rebutting the claims of death penalty opponents that California's death penalty system is flawed.
Lengthy article from AllBusiness.Com examining the arbitrariness of the death penalty system in America.
Part of a long feature article, "Death Trip: The American Way of Execution." Emphasis on prosecutorial misconduct.
News article highlighting the anti-death penalty views of best selling author Scott Turow, and his visit to Maryland on behalf of Maryland Citizens Against State Executions.
News report on death penalty debate at the University of Delaware between Jeffrey Reiman, professor of philosophy at American University, and Delaware state prosecutor, Steven Wood.
Article addressing the ethical dilemma of Prosecutors who refuse to file death penalty cases and who are publicly against capital punishment. Opinion and Commentary by Monroe Freedman.
Conspiracy-minded article written by anti-death penalty activist. "As the scandal over the US Attorney purge intensifies, each day brings stark revelations. From intimidating phone calls made to prosecutors' homes to incriminating e-mails from the office of former White House counsel Harriet Miers, to the lurking shadow of Karl Rove."
Opinion of New York State Supreme Court authorizing the removal of the Bronx District Attorney from the prosecution of the murder of a police officer based upon his vocal unwillingness to consider pursuit of a death sentence.
"Most people are shocked to find that whether the death penalty is imposed is determined more by where the crime was committed and the capital trial took place than the facts of the actual case. Differences in plea bargaining policies and death penalty trial decisions exist even within the same state."
How do prosecutors really decide whether to seek the ultimate penalty in murder cases? An in-depth look at a D.A.'s struggle to ensure that only the guilty go to the death chamber. Profile of Texas D.A. Ronald Earle.
Article showing the budget restraints of some Texas prosecutors in smaller rural counties, as opposed to big city offices, in prosecuting death penalty cases.
Presentation by Denise Lieberman, Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri as part of a conference sponsored by the St. Louis University School of Law on October 18, 2001, "The Death Penalty on Trial: Public Tribunal on Missouri's Capital Punishment System.
News article on the forced resignation of Harris County, Texas District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal, who sent 36 defendants to death row. The tenor of the article makes the author's anti-death penalty bias clear.
Harris County is a pipeline to death row. A four-part series examines why, and explores whether justice is served. Includes photo and short summary of all 60 men from Harris County executed since 1976, Texas poll results, and table of statistics from Texas Department of Criminal Justice showing list of Texas executions and Current Texas Death Row.
Strong editorial - "No police wrongdoing can ever see the light of a courtroom without the complicity of a willing prosecutor. To one degree or another, all frame-ups of people are orchestrated by prosecutors acting behind the scenes."
"Nothing personal. John Connelly is just doing his job. That's what he says, anyway. People commit gruesome murders. Connecticut's death penalty law covers those murders. So Connelly, a prosecutor, convinces juries or judges to send those killers to their own deaths. He is Connecticut's--and New England's--death penalty king."
Short article on the recent federal death penalty trial and appeals of Jay Lentz in Virginia, where the trial Judge accused the AUSA of planting inadmissible evidence for the jurors in the jury room (strongly slanted to defense), from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Short book review from Caryl Lynn Segal, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Texas at Arlington. "Davis reminds readers of how legislatures across the country have been stripping judges of discretion by enactment of sentencing guidelines, mandatory sentencing and mandatory minimums, while enhancing the power of the prosecutor."
News article on the pardons and mass commutations of Illinois Death Row inmates by outgoing Governor George Ryan. Turned into an anti-DP rant by author Andrew Cohen who claims that Ryan was "a profile in courage and honor" by teling it "like it is."
Full text of 35+ Clemency Petitions filed on behalf of condemned inmates in Missouri since 1990. Provided by Missourians to Abolish the Death Penalty.
Full text of 33 Clemency Reports filed by the Ohio Aduly Parole Authority following a hearing in response to Clemency Petitions filed by Ohio Death Row inmates. (1999-2007)
Full text of the State's Response to 93 Clemency Petitions filed by Death Row Inmates in Illinois in 2002. Directed to Illinois Governor George Ryan.
Full text of brief filed in opposition to the Clemency Petition of California Death Row Inmate Kevin Cooper, filed by the San Bernardino District Attorney. (Posted by Criminal Justice Legal Foundation)
Thorough article refuting the claims of California Death Row Inmate Kevin Cooper, shortly after clemency was denied by Governor Schwarzenegger in 2003.
Article from the Buffalo Criminal Law Review, Volume 4:967, by Elizabeth Rapaport, Professor of Law, University of New Mexico. "In this Article, I will review the matrix in which executive decisions in women’s capital clemency cases are made, a matrix supplied by modern equal protection law, the nature and scope of the clemency power, gender politics, and contemporary death row.
Listing of 241death row inmates have been granted clemency for humanitarian reasons since 1976, including 167 by Governor Ryan in Illinois; state by state description of the clemency process.
Short article describing the origins of the clemency powers in Texas, the corruption of its past use, and the current procedures calling for the Board to give the governor its binding "written signed recommendation and advice" on clemency petitions.
Full text (101 pages) of "Memorandum in Support of Petition for Clemency and for Commutation of Sentence of Death to Sentence of Life Imprisonment Without Possibility of Release," filed by Juan Raul Garza to the President September 28, 2000.
Scholarly research paper from economics professors at the University of Colorado at Denver, H. Naci Mocan and R. Kaj Gittings, suggesting that the death penalty has a deterrent effect. The paper uses as a dataset over 6,000 death sentences handed down from 1977 to 1997 in the United States. "We find a significant relationship between the execution and pardon rates and the rate of homicide. Each additional execution decreases homicides by 5 to 6, while three additional pardons generate one to 1.5 additional homicides."
Paper by Rock Valley College, Illinois Political Science Assistant Professor, P. S. Ruckman, Jr.
Standards for Consideration of Clemency Petitions, Clemency Regulations, Clemency Statistics, Clemency Recipients, Congressional Testimony, FOIA.
Scores of links on Clemency Legal Researcgh; Statte by State links to Pardon Authority; Support Organizations; Bibliographies, from Ken Strutin (JD, MLS), an experienced law librarian, criminal defense attorney, and well-known writer and speaker.
Law Review article as part of the 2002 Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics Symposium: The Law and Politics of the Death Penalty: Abolition, Moratorium, or Reform.
Kentucky Application for Commutation by Death Row Inmate: I. Introduction, II. Bowling Is Mentally Retarded, III. Bowling Is Innocent, IV. What Are the Lexington Police Hiding?, V. Conclusion, VI. Appendix, A. School Records, B. Affidavits, C. Citizen Support, D. Mental Retardation Information.

"MISCARRIAGES OF JUSTICE: Review of Missouri's Clemency Applications Supports A Moratorium on Executions," Report Prepared by Missourians to Abolish the Death Penalty (January, 2001) Research provided by Rev. Cathy Burnett, Ph.D., Stephana Landwehr, Ph.D., Rita Linhardt, Margaret Phillips, Jeff Stack.
"As the legal counsel to Texas Governor George W. Bush, Alberto R. Gonzales—now the White House counsel, and widely regarded as a likely future Supreme Court nominee—prepared fifty-seven confidential death-penalty memoranda for Bush's review. Never before discussed publicly, the memoranda suggest that Gonzales repeatedly failed to apprise Bush of some of the most salient issues in the cases at hand."
This blog is dedicated to following the very latest news regarding presidential pardons and the pardon power (or clemency powers) as exercised in each state. Blog Posts by State; Useful Links; Commentary and Research; Presidential Pardons Throughout History; Other Great Blogs. Owner: P.S. Ruckman, Jr., Associate Professor of Political Science, Rock Valley College, Rockford, Illinois.
From the Richmond Journal of Law and the Public Interest (2000). "The thesis of this article is that low reversal rates mean serious errors are not being detected and corrected. The research will focus on Missouri, which has very low reversal rates of 15% in federal court and 20% in state court."
(January 10, 2006) -- The University at Albany announced several additions to its National Death Penalty Archive (NDPA), including The Clemency Petitions in Capital Cases Collection and source materials for David Von Drehle's Among the Lowest of the Dead. The NDPA also added supplements to two collections, the Hugo Adam Bedau Papers and the Alvin Ford Collections. Collection attempts to gather all death penalty clemency petitions filed in the United States during the modern era of capital punishment.
The Texas governor has issued his first reprieve in a death penalty case (Ricky McGinn). The question is whether he's seen the light or is just playing politics.

Thorough collection of 104 mainly religious death penalty links on the web, almost entirely anti-death penalty, put together by Gerald Darring, instructor at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama.
Encyclical letter "Evangelium Vitae" (The Gospel of Life) issued by Pope John Paul II on March 25, 1995 after four years of consultations with the world's Roman Catholic bishops, declaring that execution is only appropriate "in cases of absolute necessity" to defend society. (Paragraphs 27, 40, 56)
Presented as part of a conference sponsored by the Pew Forum in 2002, A Call for Reckoning: Religion and the Death Penalty. Thomas R. Rourke is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Clarion University. Originally published in Communio: International Catholic Review 25 (Fall, 1998), 397-413.
Full text of Papal Encyclicals of the Catholic Church 1227 to the present.
National advocay group against capital punishment, with a good set of mostly anti-death penalty links, with an emphasis on religion; New language of Catechism of the Catholic Church on the death penalty; Bibliography of statements by U.S. Bishops on Capital Punishment.
United States Catholic Conference. Links to statements on the Death Penalty from individual bishops, state and national catholic conferences, and from the Vatican.
Anti-Death Penalty policy statement, quoting from Pope John Paul II and the U.S. Catholic Bishops, suggesting that Life Without Parole passed by Indiana legislature is sufficient to meet the need to protect society. Brochure:
Pro-Death Penalty essay criticizing the anti-death penalty policies of Pope John Paul II, with links and citations to the Sequential Authority Structure and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Short column from perhaps one who approves of capital punishment, struggling to explain the opposition of Pope John Paul, and encouraging catholics to reconsider their position. "But perhaps there is something about a culture of death that distorts capital punishment and causes it to be perceived as just one more manifestation of the use of death as a solution to problems."
Compare the 2008 presidential candidates (McCain, Clinton, Obama, Huckabee) on issues that are particularly important to Christian voters. Abortion, Death Penalty, Education, Faith-Based Programs, Iraq War, Gay Marriage, Stem Cell Research.
Thorough Pro-Death Penalty article with significant Biblical citations and references, with commentary from Justice For All. From "Death Penalty and Sentencing Information in the United States," by Dudley Sharp. (1997)
Thorough Pro-Death Penalty article with significant Biblical citations and references, with commentary from Wesley Lowe.
Self-proclaimed Christian conservative Republican candidates were asked by a young person to answer the question: "what would Jesus do" about the death penalty. When pressed for an answer, Mike Huckabee said "Jesus was too smart to ever run for public office. That's what Jesus would do."
"For a presidential contest in which religion – and indeed the religious faith of at least one candidate – will play a certain role in the choices which many voters make, two questions loom large here: Is every word in the Bible true, and “what would Jesus do’’ about capital punishment."
This scholarly article details the use of religious arguments by both the prosecution and defense in capital cases. Unbelievably, the authors conclude generally that the prosecution, but not the defense, should be restrained in making such arguments. Perhaps their background as law professors and Directors of the Cornell Death Penalty Project biased their judgments. (Excerpted from “Don’t Take His Eye, Don’t Take His Tooth, and Don’t Cast the First Stone: Limiting Religious Arguments in Capital Cases, in William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal 9:1 (December 2000). Reposted at The Pew Froum.)
A special project of the North Carolina Council of Churches, dedicated to the abolition of capital punishment. Statements from prominent North Carolinans from the Ex-Governors to Dean Smith. Short commentary on "7 Myths of the Death Penalty."
California People of Faith Working Against the Death Penalty is a statewide interfaith organization.working to educate and mobilize faith communities to act to abolish the death penalty in California.
From the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Resources include list of attendees, transcipts of the conference, news reports on the conference, as well as a bibliography, filmography, essays, and death penalty links.
Links to statements on capital punishment from most major religions in the United States.
A 10 question Bible quiz on the issue of capital punishment. Answers are submitted, and the score is automatically tabulated with citations and explanations of correct and incorrect answers.
An editorial from a biblical perspective from the Brethren Revival Fellowship. (Craig Alan Myers and Harold S. Martin)
Online ministry with citations from Old and New Testament and good discussion supporting Capital Punishment, David L. Brown Th.M. (1992)
Pro -DP Biblical responses to "Turn the other Cheek"; "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first"; "But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."; "Judge not, that you be not judged."; "Vengeance is Mine, I Will repay," says the Lord."; "Thou shalt not kill".
"Many families of murder victims know only emptiness because a person now on Death Row has taken the life of their loved one. The role of the Church must be to provide support for the family and healing between the offender and the victim's family." From AmericanCatholic.Org Youth Update.
Short pro-death penalty essay from Randy Alcorn, Director of Eternal Perspective Ministries, with emphasis on ethics and religion.
Anti-death penalty article from Peter Gathje, teacher of Christian Ethics and Peace Studies at the Christian Brothers University, Memphis, Tennessee.
Ant-Death Penalty Resolution adopted by the National Council of Churches of Christ Governing Board, May 26, 1988.
Science, Commentary, Homilies, Papers, Links, Documents. Strongly anti-death penalty with emphasis on the catholic religion. Anti-Death Penalty News since 01/01/02.
Pro-LWOP sermon by Larry Reimer of United Church of Gainesville. "Big Issues Revisited at the Turn of the Millennium: The Death Penalty, From Cycles of Evil to Circles of Healing. Also gives short pro and con on the death penalty.
Thoughtful pro-death penalty essay addressing the arguments of abolitionists, with emphasis on religion by Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries International.
Links to major public policy statements opposing the death penalty from the Presbyterian General, issued in 1959, 1977, 1978, and 1985.
Recent headlines, news archives, anti-death penalty article on recent successes of the cause.
The Death Penalty Network was designed for United Methodists to encourage each other, to share ideas, worship materials, sermons, success stories, and anti-death penalty legislation.
Excerpts from Chapter 8 of the book "Toward a New Modernism" by Kenneth Cauthen, with an emphasis on theology and ethics. (1997)
Advocates the use of capital punishment and contains a detailed study outline on the subject, primarily from a biblical perspective.
"Because we have alternative means to protect society, we ought to oppose the death penalty in principle and in practice because it feeds vindictive attitudes, contributes to the spiral of violence, detracts attention from the socio-economic reforms, and denies the power of God's forgiveness."
Personal pro-DP statement of Charles Colson of Prison Fellowship and Watergate infamy.
As Paul wrote, governments have the moral authority and obligation to execute capital criminals (Rom. 13:1-4). The sooner we recognize this as a society, the better off we'll all be.
Pro-DP essay with biblical emphasis listing three good resaons to support death penalty: The Death Penalty Honors God; The Death Penalty Is A Deterrent to Crime; The Death Penalty Is Good for the Environment. (From BibleBelievers.Com)
Pro-DP essay with biblical emphasis from James and Dave's Bible Page, an interactive Full Gospel Christian site: "The death of anyone-even a convicted killer-diminishes us all. But we are diminished even more by a justice system that fails to function. It is an illusion to let ourselves believe that doing away with capital punishment removes the murderers deed from our conscience...When we protect guilty lives, we give up innocent lives in exchange."
Personal statement of Ellen Johnson, President of American Atheists.
Thoughts on the Torah and punishment by Rabbi Stephen Pearce, Jewish Bulletin of Northern California.(1996)
"The Bible makes it crystal clear that the way one acknowledges that human souls are created in God`s image and deserving of respect and dignity is through capital punishment."
Anti-DP sermon by Rabbi Samuel M. Stahl, with some interesting conclusions about Nathan Leopold and his "fifty years worth of effort devoted to expiation for his crime" of murdering Bobby Franks.
Article on the struggles of California Death Row inmate Chay'im Ben-Sholom to exercise his orthodox jewish faith, demanding kosher prison diet.
The 19th Century Restoration Movement, founded by Alexander Campbell, spawned several distinct religious groups including the Churches of Christ, the Christian Churches, and the Disciples of Christ. This long essay, entitled "Is Capital Punishment Sanctioned by Divine Authority?", details the church view on capital punishment.
Tolbert Fanning on Capital Punishment: A Reply to Alexander Campbell. From: "CAPITAL PUNISHMENT. NO.2" in: Christian Review, Vol. 4 (Franklin College, June 1847).
Reformed Church in America Perspective on Capital Punishment, reports to the General Synod in 1965 and 1966.
Short death penalty policy statement from Evangelist Richard Ciarrocca (Pilgrim Fundamental Baptist Press)
Short biblical answers to common objections raised against capital punishment. (Morris Fork, West Virginia Baptist Church)
A Statement against the Death Penalty by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, adopted by a two-thirds vote at the Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, meeting in Orlando, Florida, August 28-September 4, 1991.
An article on capital punishment from The Catholic Encyclopedia (1913) by John Willey Willis, as transcribed by Carl H. Horst from the New Advent Catholic Website.
Statement on Capital Punishment by the Catholic Bishops of Illinois (February 1996), with the full support of the Catholic Conference of Illinois, Archdiocese of Chicago.
U.S. Catholic Bishops' Statement on Capital Punishment, Approved by the U.S. Bishops in November 1980.
Transcript of October 17, 2000 lecture by Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., Professor of Religion and Society at Fordham University. Posted as part of "A Call for Reckoning: Religion and the Death Penalty."
News article on Justice Scalia's question and answer sessions with students at a religion and death penalty conference sponsored by the Pew Forum. Scalia notes the long history of the church endorsing the death penalty and suggests that it is only this Pope who caused a change in church policy. "I do not agree with the very new, latest version of the Catechism," Scalia said. "I read it, I considered it, and I decided that I disagree with it, so I am disregarding it."
United Press International news article on Justice Scalia's comments on the conflicts in the Catholic Church regarding the death penalty. "I do not agree with the very new, latest version of the Catechism," Scalia said. "I read it, I considered it, and I decided that I disagree with it, so I am disregarding it."
Remarks given at a conference sponsored by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life justifying the Death Penalty. Reposted by PrisonerLife.Com.
Statement on Capital Punishment by the Catholic Bishops of Kentucky. (December 1996).
"A Witness To Life: The Catholic Church and the Death Penalty," by Cardinal Roger Mahony (Speech by the Archbishop of Los Angeles delivered to the National Press Club on April 15, 2000, in Washington, DC); Press Release: May 25, 2000 - Cardinal Roger Mahony Urges Governor Gray Davis to ImposeMoratorium on CapitalPunishment.(From Attorney James Joseph Lynch, Jr.)
Death Penalty aricle detailing the final days before execution of Mark Andrew Fowler, and his catholic family, including his plea for clemency before the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board.
"It must be reiterated again and again that to defend innocent human life (the operative word being "innocent") is not inconsistent with the position that those guilty of heinous crimes should be punished to the full extent the natural and civil law allows. All of human history, including the history described in the Holy Scriptures with God's commands and the natural law are on our side."
Religious links and articles, including The Pope's 1999 Appeal to America, Sister Helen Prejean, The Bible and Death Penalty, Cardinals Appeal for McVeigh, A Prayer to Abolish the Death Penalty, and more.
Religious perspectives on the death penalty in light of recent events. Panelists representing a number of differing positions on capital punishment will reflect on the interplay of theological, ethical, political and social concerns. (With transcript and capital punishment issue paper)
The Islamic View of Capital Punishment. Qur'anic Criminal Justice System - "Capital Punishment, Death Penalty in Islam" - Equivalence is the Law [2:178-179], from Submission.Org.
Presented at the Indiana University School of Law, Sunday, May 7, 1998 by Dr. Shahid Athar. The program was moderated by Professor Norman Lefstein, Dean, Indiana University School of Law.
Presented as part of a conference sponsored by the Pew Forum in 2002, A Call for Reckoning: Religion and the Death Penalty. William Schabas is professor and chair of the department of law at the University of Quebec, Montreal. Originally published in William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal 9:1 (December 2000): 223-237.

Statement from His Holiness, Tenzin Gyatso, The Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet, opposing the death penalty and encouraging an unconditional moratorium.
Statement from the Dalai Lama, read by Kobutsu Shido at the "Creating a Legacy" event. (April 9, 1999).
Thorough article on Capital Punishment/Death Penalty (anti-death penalty), with links, from the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. (1995-1999)
"The Death Row Support Project (DRSP) was conceived by Church of the Brethren members Bob and Rachel Gross in 1978. The combination of Bob's prison experience and Rachel's enjoyment of letter-writing, along with their concern about the reinstatement of the death penalty, provided the necessary ingredients for beginning this ministry."
Short anti-death penalty excerpts from the book "Death & Beyond" (1992) James N. Watkins.
Pro-DP essay on the role of the church in modern society: "Reducing matters of morality to private elitism, public opinion, or mushy religious sentiment will only obscure the pressing issues of our culture. How contemporary American society in the future will view the moral difference between crime and punishment depends to a great extent on the church’s involvement in ongoing cultural debate - and on the influence of CNN. Stay tuned."
Quaker anti-death penalty homepage with policy statements, legislative initiatives, and links to death penalty-related topics.
Well organized study outline discussing the Bible and the Death Penalty. (1994)
"So it boils down to this: The Bible allows (but does not mandate) CP. The contextual grounding within which it was applied in the Bible is now different in modern society, and we must look at the issue accordingly."
Hundreds of biblical verses in support of Capital Punishment, interpreted by a self-described pro-capital punishment catholic.
God's way to deal with crime is best. I'm not embarrassed to say what the punishment for the crime is anymore than I'm embarrassed to admit that child-killing is a crime! Abortionists should be killed, so that the innocent may be defended and the curse of innocent blood be lifted off our land.
"Moore, who supports the use of the death penalty, argued that Romans 13 gives the government the right to punish those who do wrong. I believe that Scripture mandates that the government take this position in order to preserve public justice and order."
Short pro-death penalty opinion article.
The peaceCENTER hosts prayer vigils on the scheduled execution dates of all Texas death row inmates; also a news feed with the latest death penalty headlines from around the country.
Interview with Texas Death Row Chaplain Jim Brazzll from PBS Frontline.
Interview with Rev. Carroll Pickett, who served 16 years as Texas Death Row Chaplain, from PBS Frontline.
Short anti-death penalty essay. "To this day priests are forbidden to kill, a law which comes down from the prohibition within the early Church of killing for all baptized persons. Consider why such a canon exists."
Death, whether of an unborn child or of a convicted criminal, does not bring us closer to a civilization of love, but rather feeds the mistaken and dangerous notion that killing is a solution to our problems.
Organization dedicated to the philosophy of the Catholic Church, with citations to the Catechism and the Pope.
A social action group and independent affiliate of the Unitarian Universalist Association, organized in 1996, seeking to give witness resolutions of past years calling for an end to capital punishment.
Up-to-date public opinion polls on capital punishment from various sources, including Harris Polls, Gallup Polls, ABC/NBC/CNN/Fox News Polls; Also includes polls on Fear of Crime, Crime Victims, DNA, and Police.
Recent Harris Poll showing 69% support for death penalty. They support it even though only a minority thinks it is a deterrent and almost everyone believes that innocent people are sometimes convicted of murder. (With links to Harris Polls in 1998-2003 on the Death Penalty)
"Since the late 1960s, public support for the death penalty has experienced significant rises and dips, but surveys show it has never fallen below 50%. In fact, during the past 40 years, support for capital punishment has remained relatively high, reaching a peak of 80% in 1994."
Public attitudes toward crime and criminal justice-related topics: Capital Punishment. Public opinion polls (Harris, Roper, Gallup, Sam Houston State) from the Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics (Acrobat format)
Poll showing public support for death penalty 64%-31%, but when asked preference on penalties for murder, 49% for death penalty and 45% for Life Without Parole; But a blanket commutation similar to Governor Ryan in Illinois is opposed 59%-31%. Poll was conducted by telephone January 16-20, 2003 among a random national sample of 1,133 adults. The results have a three-point error margin. Field work was done by TNS Intersearch of Horsham, Pa.
"The poll, conducted May 5-7, 2003 finds 74% of Americans in favor of and 24% opposed to the "death penalty for a person convicted of murder." Gallup has asked this basic death-penalty-support question since the 1930s. Support has been above 70% over the last two years, after having been in the mid-to-high 60% range in 2000-2001. The current number is the highest support level Gallup has obtained on this measure since May 1995, when 77% supported the death penalty. The highest support level was 80% in 1994, and the lowest was 42% in 1966."
Public opinion favoring death penalty shows gradual decline, down to 64% approval.
Public opinion in Indiana favors death penalty for serious crimes 65%-28%. 75% of Republicans, 51% of Democrats, and 65% of Independents in favor.
News article from The Hill, noting recent rise in nationwide death penalty support and the lamentations of the Death Penalty Information Center)
News article on the a poll conducted by the North Carolina Council of Churches showing almost 2/3 support for a moratorium on the death penalty in North Carolina while its fairness is studied.
Only 34% favor death sentences for "juveniles." From the National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago. (Report prepared for the Joyce Foundation)
Gallup Polls (2001), Washington Post-ABC Poll (May 3, 2001); Gallup Poll Analyses on Moratorium (April 11, 2001).
June 2000 ABC Poll showing public support at 63%-27% in favor of death penalty.
Poll showing public support for death penalty 63%-28%, but when asked preference on penalties for murder, 46% for death penalty and 45% for Life Without Parole; 51% favor a national moratorium. Poll was conducted by telephone among a random national sample of 1,003 adults. The results have a three-point error margin. Data collection and tabulation by ICR- International Communications Research of Media, Pa.
Article on recent CSMonitor/Tipp Poll (May 3-7, 2001) showing Americans favor capital punishment by 2-1 margin.
Supported by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Sourcebook brings together data from more than 100 sources about all aspects of criminal justice in the United States. These data are displayed in over 600 tables. Sourcebook is organized into six topical sections, including: Public Attitudes Toward Crime and Criminal Justice-Related Topics.Includes archives of Sourcebook since 1994.
Public support for capital punishment by race, sex, and region 1972-96 (with graphs); 1995 Gallup Survey, from Professor Michael C. Kearl, Trinity University Socioloigist.
Public Opinion About the Death Penalty - Alternatives to the Death Penalty; Law Enforcement Views on the Death Penalty; State polls from Texas, Michigan, Virginia, Illinois, Ohio, Texas, Kentucky, Canada and more.. (slanted commentary)
"When asked whether they favor or oppose the death penalty, Connecticut voters favor it 59 - 31 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. When offered the alternative, however, of life in prison with no chance of parole, voters prefer the life option over the death penalty 49 - 37 percent."
The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences' Center for Survey Research at Ohio State University has conducted a study examining the opinions of Ohioans regarding the use of the Death Penalty. The information for this survey was gathered through telephone interviews conducted from October 8, 1999, through October 31, 1999, with 819 randomly selected adults throughout the state of Ohio. 74% of the respondents were in favor of capital punishment.
Short summary of anti-death penalty argument that public support for the death penalty disappears when given the option of Life Without Parole plus restitution.
Article examining the reasons for a drop in the number of executions nationwide in 2001. "For the first time since the death penalty was reinstated a quarter century ago, the number of executions has fallen for two consecutive years. Critics point to a decline in popularity of death penalty. Supporters see aberrant year."
Short anti-Death Penalty article claiming soft spot in public support favoring death.
Anti-Death Penalty editorial, suggesting that the recent moratorium in Illinois, the defeat of George W. Bush in New Hampshire, the stance of Pope John Paul, and the film Dead Man Walking, have made a significant impact on public opinion.
News article discussing the issues raised in Baze v. Rees, relating to the administraion of lethal injection in Kentucky, which is scheduled for decison by the U.S. Supreme Court in May/June 2008.
Summary of issues to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in Baze v. Rees. Official opinions of the Supreme Court of Kentucky (2006) and the U.S. Supreme Court Cert. Granted (2007); Docket Sheet From the U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. Supreme Court Briefs filed Petitioner and Respondent. (PDF files)
State by state breakdown of execution methods, with statutory citations from each state; Descriptive summary of execution protocol and photos of current approved execution methods: Lethal Injection, Electrocution, Lethal Gas, Hanging, and Firing Squad; Indiana historical methods of execution.
Yearly publication of the U.S. Department of Justice with detailed statistics and history of the death penalty in the U.S. Demographics (race, age, gender, education, criminal history) on those executed and current death row; Number on U.S. death row since 1953; Number executed since 1930 and since 1977 by state and by year; List of jurisdictions with and without death penalty, with summary of statutes and recent statutory changes; Methods of execution and minimum age by state; Time on death row of those executed. Availability lags approximately one year behind.
Methods of Execution, state by state; Total number of executions since 1976 by method used; Description of Each Method; Botched Executions; LETHAL INJECTION: National Moratorium on Executions Emerges After Supreme Court Grants Review.
"Florida prison personnel struggled behind closed doors for 33 min. to properly insert the long tubes into Demps' veins. When the curtains finally opened, as they are meant to so witnesses can observe the final moments, Demps, strapped to a gurney, addressed the group in a trembling voice. "They butchered me back there."
Brief overview of each authorized method of execution with photo.
State by state comparisons of execution methods, short histories, costs, and detailed protocols. Commission created in the wake of several botched electrocutions in Florida, and a public debate over whether to change to lethal injection.
A listing of the approved methods of execution in the United States and worldwide throughout history (electrocution, lethal injection, gas chamber, firing squad, hanging, beheading, burning at stake, guillotine), with a summary on the history and procedures of each, and photos.
Short history of the guillotine and the French Revolution.
A listing of the approved methods of execution in the United States (electrocution, lethal injection, gas chamber, firing squad, hanging), with a summary on the history and procedures of each, and photos of each.
Simple links to Death Penalty Information Center, but with excellent hanging, lynching, beheading, gas chamber, electric chair, firing squad, lethal injection gurney, Tiny Davis, Sadaam photos.
A listing of the approved current methods of execution in the United States (electrocution, lethal injection, gas chamber, firing squad, hanging) with a short summary on the history and procedures of each. (with photos)
Thorough and well-referenced anti-chair article from Karl Keys at Capital Defenders Toolbox, detailing the gruesome psysiology of death by electrocution and the rejection of this method of execution on animals and humans by almost all states; Summaries of botched electrocutions and some history of execution methods, state by state; Detailed history of Kentucky Electric Chair.
Entry in The Physics Factbook by April Dunetz, edited 2001 by Glenn Elert.
History, Women and the Chair, Modern Electrocutions, When Things Go Wrong, Execution Procedure, State by State Use of Electric Chair.
Short news article on the upcoming electrocution in South Carolina of James Neal Tucker. With Stats showing when each method of execution was used last. (Repposted by AikenOnline.Com)
A U.S. Supreme Court case denying certiorari, where the death row inmate challenges the method of execution (electric chair) as cruel and unusual. The dissenting opinion of Justice William Brennan details the constitutional history of the method and the gruesome effects on the human body.
Short history of the electric chair and the Edison / Westinghouse wars.
Short, but well documented, electric chair history by Ted Frank at the AFU and Urban Legends Newsgroup "alt.folklore.urban,misc.legal" (1993)
Short article on Thomas Edison and the electric chair by Terry Chan at the AFU and Urban Legends Newsgroup "alt.folklore.urban,misc.legal"
Encyclopedia entry reviewing the worldwide practice of execution by electrocution throughout history.
News article on the execution of Daryl Keith Holton. Holton, 44, became the first person to be executed by electrocution in Tennessee since 1960 and only the fourth person to be executed in the state since that same year. Holton was put to death for slaying his own children.
A fed-up Florida legislator, Rep. Howard Futch, suggested the state crucify death-row inmate Thomas Provenzano, whose delusions of being Jesus Christ have helped delay his execution.
Thomas H. Provenzano v. Michael W. Moore. (Opinion #95973) Florida Supreme Court opinion upholding the constitutionality of the Electric Chair following the botched executions of Allen Lee Davis and Pedro Medina. (September 24, 1999)

Showcased as part of summary of the issues surrounding the use of the electric chair in Florida, by J. J. Maloney, from The Crime Encyclopedia. Following the execution, when the Florida Supreme Court ruled, yet again, that execution by electrocution is not unconstitutional, a dissenting justice attached three photographs of the execution to his dissent, and it became public record.

Article from reporter who witnessed Florida electric chair execution, concluding that the method is inhumane.
Press release and photo of newly constructed oak electric chair provided by the Florida Dept. of Corrections.
Editorial comment from Salon Magazine (Apr 1997) commenting on an electric chair malfunction in the execution of Pedro Medina and the callousness of the Florida Attorney General's statements thereafter.
News report on the airing of audiotapes made of 23 Georgia executions in the electric chair from 1983-98, which are matters of public record.
Short history of Ohio executions by electric chair, with photo of chair. (Channel 5 TVNews 2002)
Detailed description of lethal injection procedures and protocol, from Howstuffworks.com, including Preparation, Witnesses, Inside the Chamber, Administering the Injections, and Who Uses Lethal Injection.
Texas Death Row inmate site with short description of lethal injection chemicals and effects on the body, with a photo of Texas lethal injection chamber.
History and procedure of lethal injection as an execution method in America. List of botched lethal injections.
"The American Veterinary Medical Association several years ago condemned use of pancuronium bromide to euthanize animals, saying it was inhumane. It is used to execute humans."
"Of course, just what constitutes “cruel and unusual punishments” is a pregnant question. Some legal scholars say that the Constitution allows any punishment considered acceptable when the Constitution was passed. Others argue that if a critical mass of states decides that something is cruel then it should be applied universally. Most controversially, some judges have looked to international standards as a benchmark."
Article from Texas State Senator and Anesthesiologist Kyle Janek: "Having no hope of overturning capital punishment itself at the ballot box or through the court system, a few vocal death penalty opponents, including inmates, have rolled out a new strategy attacking the inclusion of pancuronium bromide as one of the medications used in the lethal injection process." (Reposted by Criminal Justice Legal Foundation)
"Some inmate's lawyers claim the first drug - a sedative - may only immobilize the inmate, so they can be in excruciating pain before they die. They just can't show it. "Hey, that's not true from what I had seen. That doesn't happen," says Houston. "And I've never seen or heard any of the other chaplains or wardens say anything that would indicate they were in any kind of pain, that it's just like going to sleep for surgery."
Lethal Injection System, Operation and Instruction Manual from the Department of Corrections and Human Resources, State of Missouri, with photos. (October 15, 1988)
Short article on the origins of lethal injection as a means of execution originating in Oklahoma, from the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.
Questions and answers with Dr. Edward Brunner, on the details of an execution by lethal injection, and the ethics questions of involvement by medical personnel. "It's only a painless death if you're the one watching."
Encyclopedia entry reviewing the worldwide practice of execution by lethal injection throughout history.
"In the wake of a number of court challenges that have forced states to go back to the drawing board with respect to lethal injection, these execution procedures should not be tinkered with . . . Yet that is exactly what has been happening, and it is an under-reported aspect of the lethal injection debate that deserves a little sunlight. (Harvard Law and Policy Review, Volume 11 (March 3, 2008)
Short history of North Carolina execution methods and summary of lethal injection procedures, with photo of gurney. (North Caolina Department of Correction)
Detailed lethal injection execution procedures and protocol from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
This report outlines the steps taken to address any deficiencies in the existing lethal injection protocol and to ensure that it meets constitutional standards. Detailed lethal injection execution procedures and protocol from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Virtual Tour and photos of current and proposed lethal injection facility at San Quentin from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Transcript and MP3 audio of New Hampsire Public Radio news report. "The New Hampshire Department of Corrections has a lot of work to do. The federal government is requiring New Hampshire to execute convicted murder Gary Sampson. And Attorney General Kelly Ayotte is seeking the death penalty in the murder cases against Michael Addison and John Brooks. But right now the state doesn’t have a place to put people to death- it doesn’t even have a death row."
Short Press Release from Ohio Public Defenders, noting that even dogs are not euthenized by the same lethal injection drugs given to inmates.
Photos of California Death Row, the execution chamber and chair for lethal gas from the California Department of Corrections.
Design requirements and operational protocol of the execution gas chamber at Mississippi State Penetentiary, by Fred Leuchter, "Expert in Execution Technology." (1989) The Report is designed "for use by all scholars so that they may determine for themselves the impossibility of the existence of the alleged German (Nazi) Gas Chambers." Includes a short history and description of the Mississippi Gas Chamber, with photos.
Links to articles about the controversial and self-professed "Expert in Execution Technology," Fred A. Leuchter. From the Nizkor Project, "dedicated to the millions of Holocaust victims who suffered and died." Leuchter gained gained infamy for his conclusions that the chambers in WW II concentration camps could not have been used as execution gas chambers.
Bio and links from Revisionists.Com.
Encyclopedia entry reviewing the worldwide practice of execution by gas throughout history.
Short article outlining the exploits of Fred A. Leuchter Associates who in the 1990's had become Death 'R Us, the U.S.'s only commercial supplier of execution equipment. "A prison guard's son who had become fascinated by the machinery of death, Leuchter would rehab your old electric chair, make you a new one, or if you preferred sell you a lethal injection system (,000), gallows (,000), or gas chamber (0,000)."
Short history of Arizona executions by hanging, gas chamber, and lethal injection, with photo of death chamber. (Arizona Department of Corrections)
Summary of gas chamber execution procedures in North Caolina, with photos. (North Caolina Department of Correction)
Detailed article on the history and procedures of execution by gas chamber in America.
Short comment on Utah firing squads by Ted Frank at the AFU and Urban Legends Newsgroup "alt.folklore.urban,misc.legal" (1994)
Encyclopedia entry reviewing the worldwide practice of execution by firing squad throughout history.
The history, protocol and procedure, statutes and recent news articles on Utah's use of the firing squad as a method of execution.
Article describing the experience of various states that retain the use or alternative use of hanging and firing squads as a method of execution.
News article on the 2003 recommendation of the Utah Sentencing Commision to eliminate firing squads as a method of execution in Utah. (Reposted by DeadManEating Blog)
Excellent discussion on the historical use of execution by hanging worldwide, with detailed description of the gallows, the noose, the hood, and hanging protocol. (photo of noose and board used in Washington state 1994)
Detailed article on the history and procedures of execution by hanging in America.
Excerpts from The Ashley Book of Knots showing the proper way to use a hangman's knot by Lee Rudolph at the AFU and Urban Legends Newsgroup "alt.folklore.urban". (1994)
Encyclopedia entry reviewing the worldwide practice of execution by hanging throughout history.
Reviews, Excerpts, and Author's Bio from 2004 book. "How did the United States come to be the only independent Western democracy still applying the death penalty today? That's the central question that "The Hangman's Knot" addresses."
Gallery of gallows photos; Lynchings; Nazi Hangings; State by state list of executions.
Execution by Hanging, Operation and Instruction Manual from the Department of Correction, State of Delaware. (1990)
Execution by Hanging, Operation and Instruction Manual from the Department of Correction, State of Delaware. (1990)
Background and summary of the 1996 hanging of Billy Bailey in Delaware, perhaps the last legal hanging in America.
Detailed article on the history and procedures of execution by hanging in America.
Online encycyclodepia article on the history and procedures of execution by hanging worldwide, with photos.
Complete text of 26 chapter book written about the execution of Rainey Bethea on August 14, 1936, hanged in Owensboro, Kentucky, before a crowd of 20,000. The public outrage which followed resulted in the complete abolition of public executions in the United States. (with photo)
Slideshows and audio from interviews with the Tie-Down Team at Huntsville, Texas, and Reverend Carol Pickett. Audio from the documentary as it aired on PBS All Things Considered. Audio from the Morning Edition host Bob Edwards as he talks with Warden Willett. Join the moderated discussion.
Interview with Texas Death Row Chaplain Jim Brazzll from PBS Frontline.
Interview with Rev. Carroll Pickett, who served 16 years as Texas Death Row Chaplain, from PBS Frontline.
Interview with Don Cabana, the former warden at Mississippi's Parchman Prison, and the author of his 1996 memoir, "Death at Midnight: The Confessions of an Executioner."
Short history of the death penalty in Wisconsin, detailing the last execution in 1851, where a man convicted of murdering his wife was hanged, but it took nearly 10 minutes for him to die.
Short summaries of 40 Post-Furman botched executions (27 lethal injection, 9 electric chair, 2 gas chamber) by Michael L. Radelet of the University of Colorado, and updated by the Death Penalty Information Center. (06/09/2000)
Thorough and well-referenced anti-chair article from Karl Keys at Capital Defenders Toolbox, detailing the gruesome psysiology of death by electrocution and the rejection of this method of execution on animals and humans by almost all states; Summaries of scores of botched electrocutions, and some history of execution methods, state by state; Detailed history of the Kentucky Electric Chair.
Short article by Wendell Smith from the Columbia Journalism Review (Sept 1991), commenting upon botched Louisiana executions and the efforts of the prison magazine, The Angolite, causing a change to lethal injection as the approved method of execution.
CNN Miami news article by Correspondent Susan Candiotti following the fiery execution of Pedro Medina on March 25, 1997 in Florida's electric chair, with some interesting quotes from the victim's family.
Amnesty International Report Report which includes section on botched lethal injection executions. (Page 6-10)
List and short summary of botched lethal injections in the United States from 1983-1995, from Capital Punishment - U.K.
Short history of the death penalty in Wisconsin, detailing the last execution in 1851, where a man convicted of murdering his wife was hanged, but it took nearly 10 minutes for him to die.
Oregon Attorney General Opinion on the effect of a stay of execution received by the warden after the process of lethal injection has started. (November 6, 1998)
AMA Ethics Code proscribing medical participation in execution: "An individual's opinion on capital punishment is the personal moral decision of the individual. A physician, as a member of a profession dedicated to preserving life when there is hope of doing so, should not be a participant in a legally authorized execution."
Resolution adopted by the 34th World Medical Assembly, Lisbon, Portugal, September 28 - October 2, 1981, and amended by the 52nd WMA General Assembly in Edinburgh, Scotland during October 2000.
January 1998 article from Amnesty International with an abundance of propaganda and rhetoric.
"Even without doctors' participation, lethal injectionwith its intravenous lines, electrocardiograph monitors, and anaesthetic drugs has a deeply corrupting influence on medicine as a whole. The Nazis used the imagery of medicine to justify killing, and they corrupted doctors and, ultimately, an entire nation. Capital punishment in the United States now depends solely on the same medical charade. Without the respectability that lethal injection provides, capital punishment in the United States would probably cease."
Report sponsored by the American College of Physicians, Human Rights Watch, The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and the Physicians for Human Rights.
A bibliography of medical journal and review articles against physicians role in lethal injection executions from the University of Dundee, Scotland.
Amnesty International Report Report which includes section on the medical ethics of lethal injection executions. (Page 25-32)
"The hood is off doctors involved in Florida executions, creating a conflict for a state trying to ensure that lethal injection is medically sound. While states are working to ensure the lethal injection procedure is medically sound — a statewide commission begins its work Monday in Tampa, examining problems with Florida's execution process — the American Medical Association and other medical groups are telling doctors to shun involvement in executions."
The ongoing controversy prompted a number of organizations to join together to examine the extent of physician involvement in executions and to provide policy recommendations to medical organizations, state governments and departments of corrections. Four organizations participated in this project: the American College of Physicians (ACP), Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (NCADP). The conclusions and recommendations were inevitable.
Short news article on the recent targeting by death penalty abolitionists in the United States of the doctors who help with lethal injections at executions, and the complex ethical questions in the fields of law and medicine.
Short commentary on the relatively new debate of the role of doctors in executions. And, much like the issue of the death penalty itself, the legal and ethical questions surrounding the role of doctors in executions are complex and difficult to answer, from Suite101.com.
Their legal brief is one of dozens filed by groups worldwide that call for a U.S. ban on this punishment. "The U.S. Supreme Court is considering the legality of sentencing children younger than 18 to death, and the American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Assn. and other medical societies are asking justices to put an end to the practice." (American Medical News)
North Carolina Governor Easley and the Council of State place death penalty on indefinite leave after the North Carolina Medical Board ruled that it doctors cannot participate in executions.
Copy of Wake County Superior Court Order granting permanent injunction prohibiting Medical Board from disciplining doctors who participate in executions.
Court ruling that medical board overstepped its authority on executions stirs an exchange in the medical community
Amnesty International Blog Report. "Doctor who was barred from taking part in executions in Missouri because of concerns his dyslexia would interfere with his ability to administer lethal injections is helping the federal government carry out death sentences in Indiana, according to court documents."
The parallels between California physicians who refused last week to participate in the execution of a convicted killer and the growing numbers of pharmacists around the country who refuse to dispense morning-after pills.
"But medical experts say the current method of lethal injection could easily be changed to make suffering less likely. Even the doctor who devised the technique 30 years ago says that if he had it to do over again, he would recommend a different method. Switching to an injection method with less potential to cause pain could undercut many of the lawsuits."
"The refusal of medical professionals to take part in the scheduled execution of a convicted killer in California this week has reopened the debate over whether lethal injection is a constitutional means of capital punishment--and, inevitably, over capital punishment itself."
"This Article examines how states ended up with such constitutionally vulnerable lethal injection procedures, suggesting that physician participation in executions, though looked upon with disdain, is more prevalent—and perhaps more necessary—than many would like to believe."
"After California physicians balk at participating in the death penalty, physicians opposed to such participation urge state medical associations to follow AMA guidelines and bar physicians from any involvement in executions."
"When Governor Ernie Fletcher signed a death warrant for a convicted killer this month, he may have done more than start the clock ticking on an execution. Some say Fletcher, a doctor, may have put his medical license at risk."
Arizona Jury Research article originally published in The Writ, the official publication of the Pima County Bar Association, in July, 1995. "Based on these findings, the courts may want to reconsider their practices on death-qualifying jurors. If sentencing is not an issue in voir dire, and jurors are not queried on their death-penalty attitudes, those opposing the death penalty would not be eliminated, in mass, from the panel. In the opinion of researchers, this would lead to a more balanced, unbiased panel."
Short summary of death qualified juries, with a short explanation of the jury selection process capital cases and its affect on verdicts. Brief outline of U.S. Supreme Court cases, including Witherspoon v. Illinois (1968), Wainwright v. Witt (1985), Lockhart v. McCree (1986), Uttecht v. Brown (2007).
Short opinion article on the bias of death qualified juries in capital cases. "But a hidden argument against the death penalty is that the process systematically excludes any potential jurors who see the world in shades of gray and who will not reach for the gun at the first sign of trouble."
"Capital Punishment Decisions Hinge on Jurors Who May Not Understand Their Task" from the National Science Foundation News (January 14, 1997).
"Only those who support capital punishment are permitted to serve. You have doubts that the death penalty is just? You think the death penalty may be over-used? The states do not want your opinion to be heard in the jury room."
(Abstract only) "Capital jurors are “death-qualified,” or asked to verify at voir dire that their views on the death penalty would not prevent them from serving impartially. Ironically, death qualification itself creates juries unfairly biased toward guilt and death."
A Bibliography of Jury-Related Information, Legal Periodical Articles, since 2000, Indexed by Topic. (December 30, 2007)
Short article adressing the bias of death qualified juries from Craig Haney, Department of Psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz. "The exclusion of characteristics or attitudes linked with opposi tion to the death penalty has meant that capital juries are unrepresentative of the community at large, predisposed to support the prosecution, and predisposed to convict persons brought before the court."
1996 study from the Psychology Department at Simon Fraser University, investigating the effectiveness of arguments in persuading a jury to recommend a death sentence or life imprisonment. (Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, January 1996)
Article discussing the growing protests by jurors, particularly minority jurors, when not guilty verdicts are returned in spite of the evidence showing guilt - Jury Nullification.
Iowa State Bar association position paper on the issue of jury nullification legislation. "Nullification instructions place citizens at the mercy of a small group of people who may grant or withhold justice at their whim, in complete disregard of the law."
Thorough and scholarly article discussing the right of jury nullification, originally published at 22:4 Litigation 6-60 (1996), by an associate professor at Regent Law School in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
"Its existence is denied. Its advocates are imprisoned. While the pages of history once shined on jury nullification,3 that book was long ago closed, and today, the judiciary seems poised to burn it."
Valparaiso University Law Review from Spring 1999, written by then Indiana Court of Appeals Judge (now Indiana Supreme Court Justice) Robert D. Rucker. "Preserving to the jury the right to determine the law in criminal cases is consistent with the historical function of an ancient institution."
Articles, Essays, Links on the rights of juries and the power of jury nullification. (The O.J. Simpson Jury Questionnaires (10/94) and both Trial Transcripts; Example of Court Prepared Jury Answer Book from the Supreme Court of Virginia; Customized Jury Instructions On Line; State and Federal Jury Instructions; Jury Rules for Indiana Courts; Jury Handbooks; Grand Jury Power)
Concise jury instruction on jury nullification.
Lengthy article from the Spunk Library, an online anarchist library and archive.
"Jury nullification of law," as it is sometimes called, is a traditional right that was rigorously defended by America's Founding Fathers. The Constitution provides five separate tribunals with veto power - representatives, senate, executive, judges - and finally juries. Each enactment of law must pass all these hurdles before it gains the authority to punish those who may choose to violate it. (International Society for Individual Liberty (ISIL) and the Fully Informed Jury Association.)
In depth report of the Texas Defender Service: DEADLY SPECULATION - Misleading Texas Capital Juries with False Predictions of Future Dangerousness. "We reviewed 155 cases in which prosecutors used experts to predict a defendant’s future dangerousness. These experts were wrong 95% of the time." (Texas Defender Service (TDS) is a nonprofit organization established in 1995 by experienced Texas death penalty attorneys)
"It should not escape notice that these actuarial prediction techniques are yet another example where the technology precedes its explanation. We know the VRAG works but we don’t know exactly why--not unlike aspirin (until quite recently). There is no theory that convincingly explains the causes of criminal behavior. Until we have such an explanatory theory, we should not become complaisant about the prediction of recidivism." By Brett C. Trowbridge and Charles H. Williams. Originally published in Washington Criminal Defense, February 2000, Vol 14, No. 1.
News article on the furor created by the explanations given by clinical psychologist Walter Quijano of factors considered, including race, in testifying as to future dangerousness for the prosecution in several death penalty trials in Texas.
Three chapters from CRIMINAL MIND/CRIMINAL PROFILING: 3. How Dangerousness is Predicted; 4. Problems With Prediction; 5. Predicting Accuracy.
Boston College Law Review article, Vol. 44, No. 1, pages 207-244. "The Court should follow this path toward the finding that psychiatric predictions of future dangerousness in capital cases are a violation of the Eighth Amendment because they are unreliable and inaccurate and lead to arbitrary and capricious results."
Duke Law Review article, Winter/Spring 2006. "Since at least the late nineteenth century, courts and prisons have reflected attempts to discriminate between the innately criminal and those who acted merely by force of circumstance, whose crimes would not pose a future danger to society."
Article written by law enforcement professional who testifies as an expert in Texas Capital cases on the future dangerousness of the murderer. "The point is this: Prison inmates have abundant opportunities to commit criminal acts, including acts of violence."
Scores of links to news articles, reports, and resources.
The President's DNA Initiative provides funding, training, and assistance to ensure that forensic DNA reaches its full potential to solve crimes, protect the innocent, and identify missing persons. Online DNA training; Tools for forensic scientists; State by State forensic DNA information; State and Federal statutes and case law; Resources for legislators, Judges, lawyers, police, and lab personnel.
The second edition of Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence (Page 485-576), distributed to all federal Judges. Thorough DNA treatise, with legal annotations and detailed scientific explanations.
Why do inmates remain in prison despite DNA evidence which exonerates them with near certainty? Documentary focusing on the DNA revolution in technology and spotlighting four cases of death row inmates: Earl Washington (Virginia), Clyde Charles (Louisiana), Roy Criner (Texas), and Roger O'Dell (Virginia), all asserting innocence. Originally aired on January 11, 2000 on PBS.
Summary of proceedings before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee considering bills by Chairman Orin Hatch of Utah and Ranking Minority member Patrick Leahy of Vermont. Also includes full written statements of all witnesses appearing before the Committee.
The Attorney General directed the National Institute of Justice to establish and administer a commission with the purpose of providing the Attorney General with recommendations on the use of current and future DNA methods, applications and technologies in the operation of the criminal justice system, from the crime scene to the courtroom, in order to maximize the value of forensic DNA Evidence in the criminal justice system.
Case Studies in the Use of DNA Evidence to Establish Innocence - by Edward Connors, Thomas Lundregan, Neal Miller, Tom McEwen, staff members of the Institute for Law and Justice, Alexandria, Virginia.
Case Studies in the Use of DNA Evidence to Establish Innocence - by Edward Connors, Thomas Lundregan, Neal Miller, Tom McEwen, staff members of the Institute for Law and Justice, Alexandria, Virginia.
AP article on the difficulties after DNA "exoneration" and release from prison of 100 inmates, 11 of which served time on death row.
"Post-conviction DNA testing on the mask the perpetrator left at the scene both exonerated Matthews and revealed the identity of the actual perpetrator," Kashickey said from New York City. The Washington, D.C.-based Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) reports that 13 other death-row inmates have also been exonerated with the help of DNA evidence."
"As of July 1, 2007, 42 states have some form of law permitting inmates access to DNA testing. The other eight states have no law granting such access. Click here to learn if your state allows access to testing."
The National District Attorneys Association, representing America’s local district attorneys, promotes a truth-based justice system. The NDAA recognizes DNA testing as a powerful tool for determining the truth in criminal cases. This technology has emerged as the most reliable forensic technique for identifying criminals when biological evidence of the crime is available. The NDAA strongly supports DNA testing as a means of identifying and apprehending criminals and proving the guilt or innocence of suspects and defendants. The NDAA encourages public investment in this technology to ensure its full development as an instrument of justice.
"The first DNA exoneration took place in 1989. Exonerations have been won in 31 states; since 2000, there have been 142 exonerations. 15 of the 205 people exonerated through DNA served time on death row." (From The Innocence Project)
Speech of Senator Kyl upon the introduction of the "Advancing Justice Through DNA Technology Act of 2003" in the United States Senate. (Posted by Criminal Justice Legal Foundation)
"The problem with this scenario of the collapse of capital punishment in the face of science is that it's just as easy to envision the opposite. If it ever becomes possible to decide conclusively who is innocent and who is guilty, executing the innocent will no longer be a hazard."
Statement of Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Post-Conviction DNA Testing. (June 13, 2001)
Statement of Utah Senator Orrin Hatch to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Post-Conviction DNA Testing. (June 13, 2001)
"In the U.S., as of June 2002, 108 people including 12 death row inmates, have been exonerated by use of DNA tests. The increasing use of DNA testing to help confirm the innocence or guilt in capital cases is one among many reforms that will help ensure that innocent people are not sentenced to death."
List and summary of cases of supposed wrongful executions, from Michael L. Radelet, Hugo Adam Bedau, and Constance Putnam, "In Spite of Innocence: Erroneous Convictions in Capital Cases." Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1992, Bedau and Radelet, "Miscarriages of Justice in Potentially Capital Cases." Stanford Law Review 40 (1987):21-179. (text file)
Justice For All article "Death Penalty and Sentencing Information: The Risk of Executing the Innocent." A thoughtful response to the Bedau and Radelet Study.
An examination of alleged cases of wrongful conviction from false confessions, from Paul G. Cassell, a University of Utah law professor, emerging as one of the few spokesmen to challenge the anti-death penalty movement.
Full statement of Paul G. Cassell, Associate Law Professor at the University of Utah, given to the Committee on the Judiciary, United States House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights, concerning claims of innocence in capital cases. ". . . the risk to innocent life from failing to carry out capital sentences imposed under contemporary safeguards far outweighs the speculative and remote risk that an execution might be in error.
The Innocence Project at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, founded by Barry C. Scheck and Peter J. Neufeld in 1992, is a non-profit legal clinic and criminal justice resource center. We work to exonerate the wrongfully convicted through postconviction DNA testing; and develop and implement reforms to prevent wrongful convictions.
Long-awaited report from the Illinois Commission on Capital Punishment, established by Governor George Ryan shortly after he instituted a moratorium on executions in the state of Illinois in 2000, following the highly publicized "exonerations" of 13 death row inmates since 1976. The report concludes with several controversial recommendations, all restricting the ability of prosecutors to seek a death sentence and the judge and jury's power to deliver one.
"Witness to Innocence is spearheaded by former death row prisoners who have been exonerated and released from death rows across the United States and who are now actively engaged in the struggle to end the death penalty. These courageous witnesses bring a human face to the death penalty." Witness to Innocence is a project of The Moratorium Campaign and a part of the Death Penalty Discourse Network.
Media talking points and sample letters to the editor following the release of Ray Krone from Arizona Death Row in 2002.
"First, we explore the conceptualization of the term "innocence. Second, we review the kinds of evidence we have relied on previously to support our conclusion that some defendants sentenced to death and executed were actually innocent. Finally, we consider how government officials and the general public are currently reacting to the issue of possible executions of the innocent and what role this issue plays in contemporary death penalty debates."
Excerpt from Pro-Death Penalty article, addressing the risk of executing the innocent.
"Exonerated inmates receive less coverage than those who are executed, and coverage is apt to portray the exoneration as the result of an isolated mistake and not indicative of systematic failure, and (c) coverage emphasizes the experiences of former inmates after being released, not during their incarceration. Cumulatively, this pattern serves to minimize the seriousness."
Report of a working study commission of the North Carolina Supreme Court, whose primary objective is "to make recommendations which reduce or eliminate the possibility of the wrongful conviction of an innocent person." (February 2003)
Why do inmates remain in prison despite DNA evidence which exonerates them with near certainty? Documentary focusing on the DNA revolution in technology and spotlighting four cases of death row inmates: Earl Washington (Virginia), Clyde Charles (Louisiana), Roy Criner (Texas), and Roger O'Dell (Virginia), all asserting innocence. Originally aired on January 11, 2000 on PBS.
While other states rethink capital punishment, Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney asks panel to explore its reinstatement.
Press Release from the office of Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney: "Relying on the tremendous advances in the area of forensic science, the Governor today announced a panel of scientific and legal experts to craft a proposal to reinstate capital punishment in Massachusetts for a narrow set of crimes."
The report focuses on 328 cases—all almost exclusively murder and rape crimes—since 1989, the year of the first DNA exoneration. But the count is conservative, the report stresses. (Funded by U.S. Justice Fund, Soros Foundations, Open Society Institute.)
The Life After Exoneration Program's mission is to address the injustice of wrongful conviction and incarceration by assisting exonerees and their family members in re-building their lives on the outside, by working to secure their physical, spiritual, psychological, social and economic well being.
"The execution of an innocent person cannot be remedied. This fact, together with mounting evidence of innocents on death row, has strengthened opposition to the death penalty. Nevertheless, the death penalty has proved to be a divisive issue. The divide between liberals and conservatives on the death penalty could be bridged by changing the emphasis in the issue to wrongful conviction."
"In response to the increased scrutiny of Florida’s capital cases; specifically, a recent study claiming that Florida has the highest rate of death row releases, the commission has researched in-depth the 24 cited cases where individuals have been released from death row. Of these 24 inmates, none were found “innocent,” even when acquitted, because no such verdict exists. A defendant is found guilty or not guilty, never innocent. The guilt of only four defendants, however, was subsequently doubted by the prosecuting office or the Governor and Cabinet."
Thorough description of the recent Death Penalty Debate in Illinois, with a pro-death penalty slant, including a discussion of the Chicago Tribune, the so-called 13 "exonerations," Rolando Cruz and the prosecution of the prosecutors, from John J. Kinsella, First Assistant State’s Attorney for DuPage County.
"A DuPage County, Illinois prosecutor and four sheriff's officers were acquitted by a county judge and jury June 4 of charges that they conspired to frame up and convict Rolando Cruz for murder, rape and kidnapping."
On the eve of a major U.S. Supreme Court decision in Ring, just one week after a landmark commission in Illinois released its ominous findings on how the penalty is meted out, a federal judge in New York threatened to declare the federal death penalty unconstitutional in general. There is no getting around the fact that skepticism about the accuracy of death verdicts is growing within the law. "I don't know whether or to what extent the death penalty in America is in trouble, but I know that this is how constitutional change occurs in this country. The facts push the law."
Address to the 20th World Congress of Philosophy in Boston, August 1998. Any criminal justice system carries the risk of punishing innocent persons, but the punishment of death is unique and requires greater precautions. The risk of executing innocent persons is a decisive objection to the institution of capital punishment in the United States. Consequentialist arguments for the death penalty are inconclusive at best; the strongest justification is a retributive one. However, this argument is seriously undercut if a significant risk of executing the innocent exists.
Two lengthy reports which include short summaries of cases: "Innocence and the Death Penalty: The Increasing Danger of Executing the Innocent" (1997), and "Innocence and the Death Penalty: Assessing the Danger of Mistaken Executions" (1993); List of 127 defendants exonerees released from death row in the opinion of DPIC; List of eight executed despite doubts about guilt.
The Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) Innocence List (“Innocence: Freed from Death Row”) is frequently cited as support for the claim that 102 innocent prisoners have been released from Death Rows across the nation. This list is uncritically accepted as definitive. However, an examination of the premises and sources of the List raises serious questions about whether many of the allegedly innocent prisoners named on the List are actually innocent at all. By Ward A. Campbell. Supervising Deputy Attorney General, State of California.
Thorough article addressing the concerns of wrongful convictions and execution of the innocent: I. Innocents Released from Death Row: A Critical Review of the Claims; What is the real number?; II. The Risk to Innocents if We Don't Execute; III. Due Process and The Risk to Innocents (Protecting innocent defendants / inmates sacrificing the innocent); IV. OK to Execute the Innocent?; V. Future innocence considerations; VI. The Innocent Executed; VII. Conclusion. From Dudley Sharp, Justice For All, Director of Death Penalty Resources.
Short article distinguishing between the factually innocent and the legally innocent, from Dudley Sharp, Justice For All, Director of Death Penalty Resources.
Short article discussing congressional testimony from California Supervising Deputy Attorney General Ward Campbell, and Dudley Sharp, Justice For All, Director of Death Penalty Resources, giving their opinion of the so-called "innocent list" of DPIC.
Short commentary on the 1980's fraud perpetrated by the anti-death penalty forces through the Bedau and Radelet study of innocents executed, with the willing assistance of the media, and the response by Markman and Cassell.
Scores of links on Current Awareness; Case Profiles; Conferences and Trainers; Innocence Projects; Commission Reports; Organizations; Innocence Project Resources; Legislation; Bibliographies, from Ken Strutin (JD, MLS), an experienced law librarian, criminal defense attorney, and well-known writer and speaker.
"The Center’s mission is to identify and rectify wrongful convictions and other serious miscarriages of justice, a mission that has three components: representation, research, and public education. Center faculty, staff, cooperating outside attorneys, and law students investigate possible wrongful convictions and represent imprisoned clients with claims of actual innocence."
"More than 200 men and women have been wrongfully convicted in California since 1990. Some of these men and women were sentenced to death; all lost years of their lives, imprisoned for crimes they did not commit. The aim of this project is to bring you their stories and to advocate for reforms that will eliminate wrongful convictions."
Abstract of article by Eugene H. Methvin, "Death Penalty Is Fairer Than Ever," Wall Street Journal, May 10, 2000.
Highlights of a Conference held at the Northwestern University Law Center in Chicago, including assembling 30 innocent death row survivors, and media accounts of the Conference; Tips for the wrongly convicted; A portrait of the survivors; Signs of innocence.
"Conservatives need to understand that the problem of corrupt justice goes deeper than law enforcement personnel and cannot be corrected by cleaning out the Clinton DOJ. The very concept of law that protects us from tyranny has been lost. No longer the people's shield, law has become a weapon in the hands of government. Justice is no longer a concern of the justice system."
"Faulty eyewitness testimony is one of the leading causes of wrongful convictions in the US. On the basis of mounting evidence, psychologists have argued that a major contributing factor to these wrongful convictions is one of the seven sins of memory: suggestibility (Schacter, 1999). Dramatic evidence for how easily eyewitnesses are swayed comes from a study carried out by Gary Wells and Amy Bradfield at Iowa State University
Summaries of the cases and life after exoneration of Rolando Cruz (Illinois), Kirk Bloodsworth (Maryland), Earl Washington (Virginia), James Richardson (Florida), Ronald Williamson (Oklahoma), and Walter McMillian (Alabama).
A distinguished panel, but with a clear anti-death penalty slant, make up The Constitution Project, Death Penalty Initiative. (Includes well-known anti-death penalty activists former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, former Florida Chief Justice Gerald Kogan, and former Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke. Their report was presented to the United States Senate, Committee on the Judiciary on June 27, 2001 at hearings on "Protecting the Innocent: Ensuring Competent Counsel in Death Penalty Cases." Their recommendations include: adequate compensation, standards and training for defense counsel; the removal of certain classes of defendants and homicides from death penalty eligibility; greater flexibility for introducing evidence that casts doubt on a conviction or sentence; gathering of data on the role of race in capital punishment and involvement of all races in the decision-making process; elimination of a judge's ability to impose a death sentence despite a jury recommendation for life imprisonment; and requiring prosecutors to open their files to the defense in death penalty cases.
(61 Law & Contemp. Probs. 193 Autumn 1998) Thoroughly referenced law review article, though highly moralistic, highlighting the problems in the Illinois Capital Punishment system, zeroing in on corrupt Judges and Prosecutors, and wrongful convictions.
Opinion column from talk show host Dennis Prager: "A couple of weeks ago, three New Hampshire prisoners, one a convicted murderer, escaped from prison. What if the murderer had murdered again? On whose hands would the victim's blood have been?"
Wall Street Journal Editorial from University of Utah law professor Paul G. Cassell: "The Bureau of Justice Statistics has found that of 52,000 inmates serving time for homicide, more than 800 had previously been convicted of murder. That sounds like a system collapsing under the weight of its own mistakes -- and innocent people dying as a result."
PDF files of amicus briefs either filed by the Innocence Network, or by individual Network project members. Issues include: Access to Post-Conviction DNA Testing, New Evidence of Innocence, Actual Innocence, Electronic Recording of Custodial Interrogations, Eyewitness Identification, Ineffective Assistance of Counsel, Unreliable Forensic Science, Police and Prosecutorial Misconduct. "The Innocence Network is an affiliation of organizations dedicated to providing pro bono legal and investigative services to individuals seeking to prove innocence of crimes for which they have been convicted."
The story of Larry Hicks, sentenced to Indiana death row in September 1978, and days away from execution in 1979. Written by Niles Stanton, the attorney who successfully got Hicks' death sentence vacated, and represented him during a retrial of the murder charges in November 1980, which resulted in an acquittal.
Texas executed its fifth teenage offender at 22 minutes after midnight on Aug. 24, 1993, after his last request for bubble gum had been refused and his final claim of innocence had been forever silenced. Did Texas execute an innocent man? - Eyewitness says he felt influenced by police to ID the teen as as the killer; Wounded officer key to sentence - Attempts to discredit star witness failed at trial; Vow of silence blamed for ultimate penalty - Executed man's co-defendant says years of guilty have led him to try to clear his friend's name; Brother speaks up - Man says if he'd been asked to testify, he might have saved Cantu. Audio - Officer's telephone calls, Taped conversations between a homicide investigator and two officials in the Bexar County DA's office about the Cantu investigation; Documents - David Garza affidavit — David Garza, the convicted accomplice to the robbery-murder that led to Ruben Cantu’s execution in 1993, now claims Cantu wasn't there the night of the crime. Read his 2005 sworn statement. (PDF)
"Besides, there is a more important reason to reject the over-100 claim: It's not true. DPIC counts people as "innocent" when they were released from death row for reasons wholly unrelated to any belief that they did not commit the crime charged."
The Chicago Tribune, trying desperately for years to come up with an executed prisoner who was innocent, tries Carol DeLuna, executed in Texas in 1989. "Carlos DeLuna went to Texas Death Row proclaiming his innocence. Another bragged he was the real killer. In 1989, Texas may have executed an innocent man."
Website of Psychiatrist Edmund S. Higgins. Database of 360 wrongful convictions (death penalty and others) with short case summaries.

"In more than 25% of DNA exoneration cases, innocent defendants made incriminating statements, delivered outright confessions or pled guilty." Link to: Fix the System: False Confessions & Mandatory Recording of Interrogations.
An examination of alleged cases of wrongful conviction from false confessions, from Paul G. Cassell, a University of Utah law professor, emerging as one of the few spokesmen to challenge the anti-death penalty movement. (Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy Spring 1999)
"Obtaining a confession is one of the most important aims of police interrogation, and it is estimated that more than 80% of solved criminal cases are solved by a confession. However, a significant number of confessions that result in wrongful convictions are obtained through coercive questioning. This paper examines false confessions and discusses the psychological and social factors that influence innocent suspects to give self-incriminating false statements during police interrogation." (Boise State University)
"A review of one decade's worth of murder cases in a single Illinois county found 247 instances in which the defendants' self-incriminating statements were thrown out by the court or found by a jury to be insufficiently convincing for conviction. "
Overview, Lab Experiment, Suspects Who are Developmentally Handicapped, Pioneering Studies by Gisli Gudjonsson, Some Examples of Apparently False Confessions, Some Books on False Confessions, References.
"False confessions are a terrible tragedy that is largely preventable. This blog has three specific goals for combating the tragedy: to educate the public and policymakers and deepen understanding of all aspects of the problem; to promote specific reforms; and to assist attorneys with clients who may have confessed falsely."
Scores of links on Current Awareness; False Confession Research; Recording Custodial Interrogations; Resources; PowerPoint Presentations; Bibliographies, from Ken Strutin (JD, MLS), an experienced law librarian, criminal defense attorney, and well-known writer and speaker.
"This Report will address the extraction of false confessions during police questioning of suspects. False confessions were identified as the second most frequent cause of wrongful convictions in a national study previously reviewed by this Commission."
"Depending on jurisdiction, the admissibility of expert testimony on whether a confession was knowing, intelligent, and voluntary is subject to a legal threshold such as the Frye or Daubert standard. The authors review a 2002 New Jersey Superior Court ruling that illustrates the forces that shape the admissibility of confessions." (Journal of Americn Academy of Psychiatric Law 33:535–8, 2005)
"This article explores whether contemporary American psychological interrogation practices continue to induce false confessions like the third degree methods that preceded them. This article also analyzes how likely police-induced false confessions are to lead to the wrongful arrest, prosecution, conviction, and incarceration of the innocent."
"We argue that false confessions are the result of specific social dynamic events that trigger evolved heuristics of information management that were designed to maximize our ancestors' genetic replicative success," from Jesse M. Bering, University of Arkansas, and Todd K. Shackelford, Florida Atlantic University. (Page 1037)
"College students and police investigators watched or listened to 10 prison inmates confessing to crimes. Half the confessions were true accounts; half were false-concocted for the study. Consistent with much recent research, students were generally more accurate than police, and accuracy rates were higher among those presented with audio-taped than videotaped confessions." From “I’d Know a False Confession if I Saw One: A Comparative Study of College Students and Police Investigators," by Saul M. Kassin,Christian A. Meissner, and Rebecca J. Norwick. (329 Law and Human Behavior, Vol. 29, No. 2, April 2005)
"In this Article, we analyze 125 recent cases of proven interrogation-induced false confessions (i.e., cases in which indisputably innocent individuals confessed to crimes they did not commit) and how these cases were treated by officials in the criminal justice system." (82 North Carolina Law Review 891 (2004)
"In 1989 a female jogger was beaten senseless, raped and left for dead in New York City's Central Park." From Scientific American, June 2005)
Online encyclopedia entry with brief summaries of Central Park jogger, Pizza Hut murder, Corethian Bell, Jessie Misskelley, Simon Marshall, 1.6 Stephen Downing, Jeffrey Mark Deskovic, Michael Crowe, Japan, Robert Hubert, Laverne Pavlinac, John Mark Karr.
"Although the Central Park Jogger case remains one of the most staggering miscarriages of justice in modern history, it is not unique. There are now over 170 DNA exonerations of convictions, approximately 20 to 25 percent of which resulted in whole or in part from police-induced false confessions." By Richard A. Leo, Steven A. Drizin, Peter J. Neufeld, Bradley R. Hall and Amy Vatner.(Wisconsin Law Review 2006 Volume 2, Page 479-538)
"The police had used lies, false promises, isolation from parents and attorneys, even threats of adult prison and predatory older inmates to persuade the teenager to drop his protestations of innocence." (Orange County Register)
News articles on trials where eyewitness identification "expert" Richard Leo was not allowed to testify or not allowed to give an opinion. (Reposted articles by InjusticeBusters.Com)
(Abstract only) "The participants were 90 male prisoners, all of whom had completed the Gudjonsson Suggestibility and Compliance Scales (GSS and GCS) within 10 days of admission to the prison. Childhood ADHD symptoms were screened by the Wender Utah Rating Scale (WURS)." From Psychology and Medicine, by G H Gudjonsson, J F Sigurdsson, O O Bragason, A K Newton, E Einarsson, Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK.
Bob Woffinden meets Gisli Gudjonsson, whose pioneering studies changed the face of law. "We know how it used to be. DI Barlow would cajole, insinuate, assert, shout, threaten, bully, bang the table and use whatever forms of persuasion, emotional blackmail or verbal assault were necessary to make the suspect break down and confess. The suspect was led away, usually weeping, and the end credits would roll."
Dr. Richard Ofshe, a sociologist and leading expert on interrogation, has focused his research and writing for nearly twenty years on the influence of interrogation tactics on a suspect’s decisions to falsely confess to a crime. Dr. Ofshe has said that this case is the “most egregious” he has encountered in his nearly twenty years of studying interrogation and false confessions.
Power Point presentation presented at the 2007 Annual Conference of the Innocence Network in Boston.This panel covered how and why the strategies of psychological interrogation lead innocent persons to confess. The session focused on case histories where police have fabricated false confessions by feeding “non-public” details to suspects and then claiming these details, when repeated, demonstrate the suspect’s guilt.

"Eyewitness misidentification is the single greatest cause of wrongful convictions nationwide, playing a role in more than 75% of convictions overturned through DNA testing." Link to: Fix the System: Eyewiness Identification Reform.
The amicus brief was submitted in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on behalf of the Center on Wrongful Convictions and the MacArthur Justice Center at the University of Chicago Law School in the case Richardson v. Briley.
Thorough online encyclopedia entry. Known Cases of Eyewitness Error; Causes of Eyewitness Error; The Law of Eyewitness Identification Evidence in Criminal Trials; Reform Efforts; References.
Initial Report of the Crime/First Responder; Mug Books and Composites; Procedures for Interviewing the Witness by the Followup Investigator; Field Identification Procedure (Showup); Lineups; Recording Identification Results.(43 pages) Developed and Approved by the Technical Working Group for Eyewitness Evidence, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, October 1999.
Biographical Profile and Curriculum Vitae of Professor Gary L. Wells, Department of Psychology, Iowa State University; Breaking news, articles and useful materials from one of the foremost experts on eyewitness identification.
Excellent resource from the National Legal Aid & Defender Association - Eyewitness ID Wrongful Convictions; Defense Expert Materials; Research Articles; Court Opinions; Training Materials; Pleadings; Websites; Legislative Reforms; Government Expert Materials; Illinois Study.
The Center for Criminal Justice Advocacy was formed as a free, nonpartisan, grassroots training resource to assist new lawyers in becoming competent criminal trial practitioners. "As a lawyer, you have to deal with the propensity of eyewitnesses to misperceive, misrepresent, misrecollect,and misinterpret. The cases readily reflect the defender's duty to make certain that the client is not a victim of misidentification."
Founded by Dr. Otto H. MacLin, The Eyewitness Laboratory focuses on research in eyewitness memory and identification, and many aspects of face recognition. The Laboratory offers instruction and research training for both graduate and undergraduate students. Current Research, Related Links, Bibliographies and Abstracts.
"System variables" are factors affecting eyewitness identifications that are under the control of the criminal justice system. We have developed working bibliographies for the following topics. "Estimator Variables" are factors whose impact on eyewitness identifications can only be estimated after the fact. Psychological Processes in eyewitness memory. This research center, led by Dr. Roy Malpass, has extensive topical indices and bibliographies on eyewitness identification; Current Research, Linls.
Current Developments with links, Special Reports and Artcles with links, Eyewitness Experts with links, Research Links, from
Report of a working study commission of the North Carolina Supreme Court, whose primary objective is "to make recommendations which reduce or eliminate the possibility of the wrongful conviction of an innocent person." (February 2003)
Short article addressing the probllems with mistaken eyewitness identifications. "Eyewitness testimony can be extremely useful in catching criminals, but it needs safeguards to make sure it doesn't nab the innocent. After all the wrongful convictions in recent years, no one should have trouble seeing that."
"Eyewitness identification is one of the most potent and effective tools available to police and prosecutors. It is compelling, and time after time, it convinces juries of the guilt of a defendant. The problem is, eyewitness identifications are WRONG at least 50% of the time!" With dozens of case histories and links to articles.




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