- Educational Curricula
- Executions Database
- Law Review
- New Voices
- Public Opinion
- Related Web Sites
- State by State Database
- State Information
- Student Resources
- Testimony, Resolutions, Statements & Speeches
- Weekly Newsletter
- Death Penalty Quiz
- More Resources
Discussions with DPIC (10/21): Law professor and author John Bessler joins DPIC executive director Robert Dunham to discuss "Against the Death Penalty," a book version of Justice Stephen Breyer's historic dissent in Glossip v. Gross in which he questions the constitutionality of the death penalty. Professor Bessler edited the book and wrote an extensive introduction explaining the significance of the opinion, In a wide-ranging conversation, Bessler and Dunham discuss the dissent itself, the national context of the decision, and the possible effects of an 8-member Supreme Court. Listen or Subscribe
NEWS (10/19): Georgia has executed Gregory Lawler. It was the state's 7th execution in 2016—the most in any year since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Georgia's death penalty statute in 1976—and the 17th execution in the United States. Texas has also executed seven prisoners this year. See Executions in 2016.
NEWS (10/17): The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a petition to review the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in federal habeas corpus proceedings upholding the death sentence imposed in Ohio on Lawrence Landrum, Landrum v. Jenkins, No. 16-5203.
WORLD PREMIERE (10/17): A new documentary, The Gathering, about the coming together of U.S. death-row exonerees at the annual three-day convocation of Witness to Innocence will have its world premiere screening on Monday, October 17 at the French Embassy to the United States in Washington, DC. For more details and a link to R.S.V.P. for the event, click here.
NEWS (10/13): The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit has reversed its prior decision and said the identity of the compounding pharmacy that has supplied execution drugs to the state of Missouri could remain secret. Mississippi death row prisoners had sought the identity of the pharmacy as part of their legal challenge to their state's multi-drug execution protocol, in an effort to demonstrate that Mississippi had alternative means of obtaining lethal injection drugs. The case is In re: Missouri Department of Corrections, No. 16-3072.
NEWS (10/12): The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit has overturned the death sentence imposed on Percy Hutton by an Ohio court in 1986. The court granted Hutton a new penalty hearing as a result of the trial court's failure to instruct the jury on the aggravating circumstances the prosecution must prove before a defendant may be sentenced to death. The 3-judge panel split 2-1 on the procedural questions of whether the Ohio Supreme Court had decided the issue on its merits and, if it had not, whether Hutton had provided sufficient grounds for the federal courts to address the issue.
NEWS (10/12): The Missouri Supreme Court has set a January 31, 2017 execution date for Mark Christeson. The U.S. Supreme Court stayed Christeson's execution in 2014 to permit new lawyers to represent him after his prior court-appointed counsel missed the deadline for filing his habeas corpus petition. The federal district court then denied more than 90% of his new lawyers' request for funding to investigate his case. An appeal of the denial of funds is currently pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit.
NEWS (10/11): The United States Supreme Court has unanimously reversed the judgment of the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals upholding the death sentence imposed on Shaun Michael Bosse. In a per curiam decision, the Court granted Bosse's petition for writ of certiorari, ruled that Oklahoma prosecutors had improperly presented testimony from three members of the victims' families asking the jury to sentence Bosse to death, and remanded the case for further proceedings. The Court reiterated that its 1987 decision in Booth v. Maryland, which prohibits presentation of testimony from victims' families offering "opinions about the crime, the defendant, and the appropriate punishment" has never been overruled and "remain[s] binding precedent until we see fit to reconsider [it]." A line of state-court precedent has permitted such testimony in Oklahoma death penalty cases despite the Eighth Amendment prohibition against it.
DPIC 2015 Year End Report
DPIC Podcast Series: We have begun a new set of podcasts on the death penalty in each state, each with interesting historical facts. The following are now available: Michigan, Wisconsin, Maine, Minnesota, North Dakota, Alaska, Hawaii, Iowa, Vermont, Massachusetts, District of Columbia, Rhode Island, and New Jersey. Check out our podcasts now! Also listen to DPIC's podcasts on death penalty issues.