News

NEW RESOURCES: DPIC's Latest Podcast Explores the Impact of International Law and Opinion on the U.S. Death Penalty

The latest edition of the Death Penalty Information Center's series of podcasts, DPIC on the Issues, is now available for listening or downloading. This podcast - the 17th in the series - discusses international views on the death penalty and how those views might affect capital punishment in the United States. The podcast includes discussions about the role of international pharmaceutical companies in lethal injections being carried out in the United States, and the consideration of international opinion by the U.S. Supreme Court in rulings related to the death penalty.  Click here to listen to this latest podcast.


Read More 4,822 reads
MULTIMEDIA: Herzog's New Documentary--"Into the Abyss: A Tale of Life, A Tale of Death"

In a new documentary, titled Into the Abyss: A Tale of Life, A Tale of Death, renowned documentarian Werner Herzog (pictured) examines the case of a triple homicide in Conroe, Texas, exploring why people kill and why states carry out executions.  The film features intimate conversations with many of those involved in the case, including 28-year-old death row inmate Michael Perry, who was executed shortly after his interview with Herzog in 2010.  The film also includes interviews with Perry's co-defendant, Jason Burkett, who was given a life sentence; the woman who lost both her mother and brother in the crime; the Texas death row chaplain; and one of the guards who performed executions.  Richard Corliss, a reviewer from Time Magazine, commented on "Into the Abyss": “It provides intimate glimpses of people usually seen, and then only briefly, as faces on a post-office wall or numbers in a cemetery.  Herzog asks viewers not to agree with his position on the state's right to kill, but to spend some time with folks who would kill, or be killed, for the sake of a red Camaro.”  "Into the Abyss" will be released In New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles on November 11, 2011, with a wider release in the following weeks.  Among Herzog's other works are his recent "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" (2010) and the award-winning "Grizzly Man." See below for a trailer to the film.


Read More 5,023 reads
NEW RESOURCES: Five New States Added to State Information Pages

DPIC is pleased to announce the addition of five more states to our State Information Pages.  Information is now available for 25 states, including the latest entries:  Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts and New York.  These pages provide historical and current information on the death penalty for each state (regardless of whether it currently has the death penalty), including famous cases, past legislative actions, and links to key organizations.  For frequently-updated information, such as execution totals, the size of death row, or the number of exonerations, see our State-by-State Database. The remaining state  pages will be made available soon, especially as residents send information, pictures, and links to organizations.  You can reach the State Information Pages through the "State by State" button at the top of every page on our website or under the "Resources" tab in our main menu.


Read More 6,437 reads
NEW RESOURCES: DPIC's Latest Podcast Addresses Death Row Conditions and Related Issues

The latest edition of the Death Penalty Information Center's series of podcasts, DPIC on the Issues, is now available for listening or downloading. This podcast--the 16th in the series--discusses the little-understood world of death row, exploring the conditions on the row and the length of time prisoners spend there. The podcast discusses some of the legal issues that have arisen regarding the extended deprivation and isolation common to death rows around the country, including the risk of mental deterioration among the inmates.  First-hand descriptions of the death-row experience are also offered. Click here to listen to this latest podcast.  Generally, these podcasts offer concise, informative discussions of important death penalty issues. Other recent episodes focused on the U.S. Supreme Court and the Legal Process involved in a capital case. You can subscribe to receive automatic updates through iTunes when new episodes are posted and receive access to all previous episodes. Other audio and video resources, along with all of DPIC's podcasts, can be found on our Multimedia page.


Read More 6,178 reads
NEW RESOURCES: The Causes of Wrongful Convictions

The Innocence Project has launched a new multimedia resource illustrating the main causes of wrongful convictions and the reforms necessary to prevent such mistakes. This interactive tool, “Getting it Right,” features videos, case studies and research on such topics as false confessions, eyewitness identification, informant testimony, and failures by the defense and prosecution. Three  death penalty cases are highlighted: Ron Williamson, Earl Washington, Jr., and Ray Krone, who collectively spent 44 years in prison or on death row before the discovery of their innocence and eventual exoneration. Washington's lawyer had never handled a death penalty case before.  He was convicted after a five-hour trial and came within nine days of execution. Williamson was convicted based on questionable forensic evidence that seemed to tie him to the scene of the crime. At one point, Williamson came within five days of execution.  Krone was convicted on the basis of faulty bite-mark evidence that even the FBI indicated was not a match to Krone.  All three were later exonerated based on DNA evidence.


Read More 5,710 reads
NEW VOICES: Four Who Experienced a Family Murder Speak About the Death Penalty

Kathryn Gaines, Rita Shoulders, Ruth Lowe and Victoria Cox all had someone in their family murdered but all believe that a death sentence for the killers would only deepen their personal wounds.  Shoulders lost her sister to murder; Cox lost her brother; Lowe also lost her brother; and Gaines experienced the death of her eldest grandchild a year ago.  All four women are members of St. Martin de Porres Church in West Louisville, Kentucky, and have participated in videos to relate their experienes.  Ruth Lowe said of the man who killed her brother, "I’m learning to forgive. And even if I had the chance I wouldn’t want him executed. It would do nothing for me; it would do nothing for the rest of my family. To take his life would make no sense.” Kathryn Gaines said, "You cannot bring a life back by taking away another life. It hurts a whole family."  The videos of the four women's stories can be found  here. The women's stories are also being told in a series of articles in The Record, a Catholic newspaper published in central Kentucky.


Read More 6,232 reads
NEW RESOURCES: DPIC's Latest Podcast Addresses the Supreme Court's Role in the Death Penalty

The latest edition of the Death Penalty Information Center's series of podcasts, DPIC on the Issues, is now available. This podcast addresses questions about the U.S. Supreme Court's role in overseeing the constitutionality of the death penalty.  The podcast discusses the kinds of cases the Court takes on review and briefly describes a few key Supreme Court decisions on the death penalty, including Furman v. Georgia and Gregg v. Georgia.  The Supreme Court's role in the recent limitations on applying the death penalty, such as the ban on executing juvenile offenders and those with intellectual disabilities, is also discussed.  Click here to listen to this latest podcast, the 15th in DPIC's series.  Generally, the series offers brief, informative discussions of important death penalty issues. Other recent episodes include discussions on the Legal Process and on Mental Illness. You can subscribe to receive automatic updates through iTunes when new episodes are posted and receive access to all previous episodes. Other audio and video resources, along with all of DPIC's podcasts, can be found on our Multimedia page.


Read More 4,473 reads
NEW RESOURCES: DPIC Podcast Covers Legal Process

Have you ever wondered about how a death penalty trial is conducted or why the appeals take many years?  The latest edition of the Death Penalty Information Center's series of podcasts, DPIC on the Issues, may be helpful in answering those questions. This podcast addresses questions about the legal process in capital cases, including jury selection, sentencing, and appeals. In addition to covering the basic steps in a death penalty case, the podcast discusses issues such as the adequacy of representation and the length of time on death row. Click here to listen to this latest podcast.  Generally, this series of 14 podcasts offers brief, informative discussions of key death penalty issues. Other recent episodes include discussions on Women and the Death Penalty and Mental Illness. You can subscribe through iTunes to receive automatic updates when new episodes are posted and receive access to all previous episodes. Other audio and video resources, along with all of DPIC's podcasts, can be found on our Multimedia page.


Read More 7,034 reads
NEW RESOURCES: DPIC Podcast Addresses Women and the Death Penalty.

The latest edition of the Death Penalty Information Center's series of podcasts, DPIC on the Issues, is now available. This podcast addresses Women and the Death Penalty, including a short history of women executed in America, the possibility of gender bias, and differences between women and men in support of the death penalty.  Generally, this series of podcasts offers brief, informative discussions of key death penalty issues. Other recent episodes include discussions on Mental Illness and Lethal Injection. Click here to listen to DPIC's latest podcast. You can also subscribe through iTunes to receive automatic updates when new episodes are posted and receive access to all previous episodes. Other audio and video resources, along with all of DPIC's podcasts, can be found on our Multimedia page.


Read More 7,135 reads
MULTIMEDIA: New Film Explores Risk of Wrongful Convictions in Capital Cases

Slick, a new short dramatic film directed and produced by Michael Frediani, follows the story of a fictional Texas death row inmate on the night of his execution. Garrett Lee Taylor, the film's protagonist, faces execution for murder, despite strong claims of innocence.  The film is comprised of a series of flashbacks revealing events on the night of the crime.  The flashbacks show how evidence seemed to place Taylor at the scene of the crime and led investigators to wrongfully conclude he was guilty of murder.  The flashbacks also reveal the real killer. "Slick" shows the fallibility of investigations and human judgment, as well as the complicated nature of capital cases.


Read More 5,432 reads

Pages