DPIC Releases New Report as 35th Anniversary of Reinstatement of the Death Penalty Approaches

The Death Penalty Information Center has released a new report, "Struck by Lightning: The Continuing Arbitrariness of the Death Penalty Thirty-Five Years After Its Reinstatement in 1976." The report shows that despite the changes to sentencing schemes approved by the U.S. Supreme Court on July 2, 1976, race, geography, money and other factors continue to make the implementation of the death penalty arbitrary and unfair.   A majority of the nine Justices who served on the Supreme Court in 1976 when the death penalty was approved eventually concluded the experiment had failed. The report concludes, "Thirty-five years of experience have taught the futility of trying to fix this system.  Many of those who favored the death penalty in the abstract have come to view its practice very differently.  They have reached the conclusion that if society’s ultimate punishment cannot be applied fairly, it should not be applied at all."

(Released June 22, 2011). Read DPIC's Press Release.  Read full-text of report.  See other DPIC reports and Arbitrariness.