DPIC Podcasts

DPIC's "On the Issues" Podcast Series

A series of podcasts from DPIC discussing different aspects of the death penalty.


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DPIC Podcasts

Episode One: Arbitrariness



Covers issues such as geographic and racial disparities in death penalty sentencing, as well as exploring why people get different sentences for similar crimes.

Running time: 5:10

(April 17, 2009)

Episode Two: Clemency





Covers issues such as how clemency works in the criminal justice system, including who grants clemency, why clemency is granted, and how often it occurs.

Running time: 5:23

(May 13, 2009)

Episode Three: Cost


Covers issues of cost in the criminal justice system, such as explaining the cost of a death penaly sentence versus life without parole, and the factors that influence the cost of execution.

Running time: 5:23

(June 22, 2009)

Episode Four: Deterrence


Covers issues of deterrence, including views of police and criminologists about the deterrent effect of executions and statistical analysis of deterrence effects.

Running time: 7:15

(July 9, 2009)

Episode Five: Innocence


Covers issues of innocence in the death penalty, such as the possibility of innocent people sentenced to death, and whether the judicial process prevents wrongful execution.

Running time: 7:34

(August 31, 2009)

Episode Six: Race

Covers issues of race in the death penalty, such as whether race plays a role in criminal sentencing, analysis of race statistics in the justice system and measures intended to prevent racial factors in sentencing.

Running time: 5:22

(January 14, 2010)

Episode Seven: Representation

Covers the importance of high-quality representation and provides examples of inadequate representation in capital cases including statistics and individual cases.

Running time: 11:53

(April 1, 2010)

Episode Eight: Victims

Covers the variety of victims' families' reactions to the death penalty, the role of victim's family members in sentencing decisions, and victim impact statements.

Running time: 6:54

(August 18, 2010)

Episode Nine: Reader's Choice 1

Answers readers' questions on how prosecutors decide to seek the death penalty, death-qualified juries, DNA testing, and Americans on death row in other countries.

Running time: 9:22

(December 20, 2010)

Episode Ten: Reader's Choice 2

Answers readers' questions on criminological theories, methods of execution, costs, and the future of the death penalty.

Running time: 5:45

(January 14, 2011)

Episode Eleven: Lethal Injection

Covers the history of lethal injection, involvement of medical professionals, court rulings, and recent problems with drug availability and protocol changes.

Running time: 9:40

(March 4, 2011)

Episode Twelve: Mental Illness and Intellectual Disability


Covers the definition of mental illness, Supreme Court rulings related to insanity, mental illness and intellectual disability, and examples of severely mentally ill inmates who have been executed.

Running time: 7:43

(April 4, 2011)

Episode Thirteen: Women


Covers some of the history of executed women in America, as well as issues of gender bias and differences among genders in support for the death penalty.

Running time: 6:15

(May 5, 2011)

Episode Fourteen: Legal Process


A summary of the legal process involved in a death penalty sentence, including jury selection and the appeals process.

Running time: 9:49

(June 28, 2011)

Episode Fifteen: Supreme Court


A summary of the role of the Supreme Court in the death penalty, including discussion of major decisions by the court on capital punishment.

Running time: 7:30

(August 8, 2011)

Episode Sixteen: Death Row


Focuses on the conditions and the people on death row around the country, including a discussion of the length of time inmates spend on the row and the legal issues related to this confinement.

Running time: 9:34

(October 7, 2011)

Episode Seventeen: International


Discusses the international context of the American death penalty, including international trends in capital punishment and how international opinion affects the death penalty in the U.S.

Running time: 8:47

(December 2, 2011)

Episode Eighteen: Spanish Language Podcast


Discusses general issues of the death penalty in America: recent trends, application against minority defendants, support among Hispanics as well as the international use of the death penalty. Presented in Spanish.

Running time: 6:15

(April 2, 2012)

Episode Nineteen: Japan


Interview with Michael Fox discussing issues surrounding the death penalty in Japan, including public attitudes towards the death penalty, the way the criminal justice system works and the efforts of abolitionist groups.

Running time: 12:00

(May 1, 2012)

Episode Twenty: Alabama Death Row Inmate Freed: Jennifer Whitfield Interview


Interview with Jennifer Whitfield of Covington and Burling regarding the recent release of Alabama death row inmate Larry Smith.

Running time: 18:00

(May 24, 2012)

Episode Twenty-One: Arbitrariness and the Constitution


Interview with University of Baltimore Law School Professor John Bessler on arbitrariness and the history of the death penalty.

Running time: 17:00

(March 1, 2013)

Episode Twenty-Two: Lethal Injection 2


A discussion of recent changes to lethal injection protocols in response to drug shortages and other problems.

Running time: 6:11

(April 23, 2014)