Vol. 13, No. 8, May 2011

Death Penalty

[Updated 7/09/12]


Death Penalty Worldwide

DPW was launched in April by the Center for International Human Rights at Northwestern Law School, in partnership with the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty. DPW hopes to fill an unoccupied niche as no other existing death penalty site is “devoted to academic and legal analysis of developments” in the death penalty field. To that end, DPW created the Death Penalty Database which contains death penalty data on the laws and practices of 90 countries and two territories, which is very useful for getting a quick yet thorough view of a country’s death penalty position. Additionally, DPW hopes “to gather sample briefs on issues of international law and make them available to defense counsel seeking to challenge the application of the death penalty.” Stay tuned.

Death Penalty Information Center

DPIC is a non-profit organization that has as its mission providing analysis and information on issues concerning capital punishment.  This web site is rich with material touching every aspect of the death penalty, including issues of deterrence, costs, and race. The site also has two state-by-state databases, one that examines essential statistics like execution numbers, death row population, and murder rates and another (still in development) that offers more in-depth information including historical background on the death penalty in each state.  Be sure to look over the reports that are offered for free.

Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse

While the Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse, a trial-level legal aid clinic at the Washington and Lee University School of Law, takes no position on the death penalty, it does provide free services to defense attorneys who represent capital murder defendants in cases throughout Virginia.  Although one has to register to gain access to the help, registration is free and the resources extensive, including litigation guides, jury instructions, verdict forms, a motions bank, and research files, just to name a few. 

Amnesty International – Abolish the Death Penalty

This Amnesty web site opens with a chilling graphic that relays in a continuous stream how many people were killed in different countries in 2010. Unique to this site are links for an international perspective on the death penalty, myths and facts about the death penalty, and information about the execution of juvenile offenders. If you support the abolition of the death penalty, you might want to embed Amnesty’s “Abolish the Death Penalty” animated graphic into your blog or favorite social media outlet.

Hands off Cain

HOC, founded in Brussels in 1993, is a league of citizens and parliamentarians who support the abolition of the death penalty worldwide.  The group developed a unique database of world-wide information on the death penalty dating from 1999.  For each state documented, the database indicates political and constitutional systems; religion(s) practiced; international agreements on human rights and on the death penalty to which the country has acceded; method of execution; number of death sentences and executions for the year in question; and the number of death row inmates.


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