Delaware Supreme Court Decision Paves Way to Clear State’s Death Row


On December 15, the Delaware Supreme Court ruled in Powell v. State that death-row prisoner Derrick Powell will get the benefit of its August 2016 decision in Rauf v. State declaring Delaware’s death sentencing statute unconstitutional. The court directed that Powell be resentenced to life without parole, in a ruling that also paves the way […]

As Supreme Court Rejects Death Penalty Petitions, Justice Breyer Renews Call For Constitutional Review


In the span of one week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review petitions from six death row prisoners, denying them relief in their cases. The petitioners raised issues related to DNA procedures, conflict of counsel, a disputed guilty plea, juror bias, judicial override, and a previously botched execution attempt. In two of the cases, […]

STUDIES: Death Penalty Adversely Affects Families of Victims and Defendants


The death penalty adversely affects both families of murder victims and families of the accused, according to two recent journal articles. In his Psychology Today blog, Talking About Trauma, psychologist Dr. Robert T. Muller (pictured) reports that psychological studies have have found that the death penalty produces negative effects on families and friends of murder […]

NEW REPORT: Just Half of One Percent of All Counties in the U.S. Obtained Five or More Death Sentences Between 2010-15


Fifty-Six Percent of Death Penalty Cases Involved Defendants with Intellectual Disability, Mental Illness, or Brain Damage, or Involved Defendants Under Age 21 READ THE REPORTS: Part I: Part II: Cambridge, Mass. — Today, Harvard Law School’s Fair Punishment Project released Part II of  a new report offering an in-depth look at how the death […]

Support for death penalty lowest in more than four decades


BY BAXTER OLIPHANT, Pew Research Center As the Supreme Court prepares to hear the first of two death penalty cases in this year’s term, the share of Americans who support the death penalty for people convicted of murder is now at its lowest point in more than four decades. Only about half of Americans (49%) now […]

We Remember…


National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims    When the  the U.S. Senate adopted a resolution in 2007 recognizing the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims they took a step in recognizing the impact of murder on surviving family members and provided a way to honor the memory of victims. Each year some 15,000 […]

OUTLIER COUNTIES: Legacy of Racism Persists in Caddo Parish, Which Had Nation’s Second-Highest Number of Lynchings


The death-sentencing rate per homicide in Caddo Parish, Louisiana was nearly 8 times greater between 2006 and 2015 than the rest of the state, making a parish with only 5% of Louisiana’s population responsible for 38% of the death sentences imposed statewide. Caddo currently has more people on death row than any other parish in […]

Where the Death Penalty Still Lives


As capital punishment declines nationwide, a tiny fraction of the country generates an alarming number of death sentences. What this new geography tells us about justice in America. By EMILY BAZELONAUG, originally published by The New York Times Magazine On a Saturday evening in July 2013, just before 6:30, James Rhodes was recorded on a […]

COST STUDY: Nebraska Death Penalty Costing Taxpayers $14.6 million a year


Nebraskans would save $14.6 million a year by replacing the death penalty with a sentence of life imprisonment, according to an economic study prepared for opponents of a referendum to restore capital punishment in the state. The study written by Creighton University economist Ernie Goss was released Monday at a news conference in Lincoln. The […]

10 years…Today marks a decade without an execution in Montana


On August 11th 2006, Montana held an execution. Since then, executions have been on hold pending inmate appeals and lethal injection litigation. But as we look back at the last ten years of an execution-free Montana, what do we see? Ten years later, what has happened in the fight to end the death penalty? The […]