About DPIC

Death Penalty Information Center
1701 K Street NW, Suite 205 | Washington, DC 20006
Phone: 202-289-2275
[email protected]
*Please direct media inquiries to 202-289-4022

Former Executive Director, Richard Dieter, explains DPIC

The Death Penalty Information Center is a national non-profit organization serving the media and the public with analysis and information on issues concerning capital punishment. Founded in 1990, the Center promotes informed discussion of the death penalty by preparing in-depth reports, conducting briefings for journalists, and serving as a resource to those working on this issue. The Center releases an annual report on the death penalty, highlighting significant developments and featuring the latest statistics. The Center also produces groundbreaking reports on various issues related to the death penalty such as arbitrariness, costs, innocence, and race. We offer a wide variety of multimedia resources, such as our free, online educational curricula and our podcast series, DPIC on the Issues.

The Center is funded through the generosity of individual donors and foundations, including the Roderick MacArthur Justice Center; the Open Society Foundations; Atlantic Philanthropies; the Death Penalty Project, a Proteus Action League initiative; The Tides Foundation; and M Quinn Delany. Read more about our Staff and Board of Directors.

(Left) DPIC Executive Director, Robert Dunham, testifies before the Judiciary Committee of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on June 11, 2015 in legislative hearings on Pennsylvania's death penalty moratorium. (Right) DPIC's former Executive Director, Richard Dieter, addresses an American Bar Association forum at the Carter Center in Atlanta (Nov. 12, 2013).


* U.S. Library of Congress selected DPIC's website for inclusion in its digital archives.
* The Giving Library recently added DPIC to its website that helps donors connect with non-profits. Watch the video below to learn more about DPIC's background and mission.

The Death Penalty Information Center was ranked among the Top Criminal Justice Nonprofits by Philanthropedia in 2011. An expert review offered the following assessment of DPIC:

“The Death Penalty Information Center is the primary information and communications vehicle to educate the public and shape the national conversation about the death penalty in the U.S. DPIC's reports and research reach millions of people through the media. The DPIC opens the public's eyes to the incredible flaws that underpin America's death penalty.”

The Death Penalty Information Center website recently received a 5-star educational website rating from MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching). MERLOT is a program of the California State University, in partnership with higher education institutions, professional societies, and industry.

In 2016, DPIC received a Congressional Black Caucus Veterans Braintrust Award for our report Battle Scars: Military Veterans and the Death Penalty, which put a spotlight on the plight of death-sentenced veterans across the United States. DPIC's Executive Director, Robert Dunham, accepted the award from Congresswoman Corrine Brown during ceremonies at the Rayburn House Office Building. (Photograph by Richard Dieter, RDieter Communications.)

Richard Dieter, then DPIC's Executive Director, received Death Penalty Focus's 2010 Abolition Award “for exemplary leadership and unprecedented commitment to fostering human rights and advancing public awareness about the fundamental injustice of the death penalty.”

DPIC's online curricula have received a variety of awards for contributions to educational excellence.



(Top left, Meet the Press host Chuck Todd uses DPIC data in a discussion of capital punishment. Above, DPIC's current and former Executive Directors, Robert Dunham and Richard Dieter)

For nearly three decades, DPIC has served the media with analysis and information on issues concerning capital punishment. The Center’s reports and press releases are widely quoted and consulted by reporters in the United States and around the globe. The following is a sample of our most notable media coverage this past year:

"The release of the annual report by the Death Penalty Information Center follows recent polls showing a withering of support for capital punishment over controversial cases like that of Troy Davis, who was executed in Georgia in September. The decline in the use of the death penalty also has likely been influenced by states’ worsening financial conditions, said Richard Dieter, the center’s executive director."
- Miranda Leitsinger, MSNBC

"Jurors have shown a growing reluctance to vote for the ultimate penalty; in 1994, 314 people were placed on death row, but that number has dropped by roughly two-thirds since, according to figures compiled by the Death Penalty Information Center."
- John Schwartz, The New York Times

"As a new report from the Death Penalty Information Center, 'Struck by Lightning,' shows, if you are too poor to afford a good lawyer, killed a white victim rather than a black victim, or commit the crime in a county that puts time and money into capital cases, you are more likely to get the death penalty. If you are serial killer who has information the government wants and can make a deal, you are more likely to receive a life sentence."
- Thomas P. Sullivan, The Hill's Congress Blog

"A survey last year for the Death Penalty Information Center by Lake Research Partners showed that if a variety of alternatives were offered to respondents (including life without parole plus restitution to victims’ families), hard support for the death penalty could be driven down to 33 percent."
- E.J. Dionne Jr, The Washington Post

"‘This year, the use of the death penalty continued to decline by almost every measure,’ said Richard Dieter, the executive director of the [Death Penalty Information Center]. He said executions, death sentences, public support and the number of states with the death penalty all dropped from previous years. “Whether it's concerns about unfairness, executing the innocent, the high costs of the death penalty, or the general feeling that the government just can't get it right, Americans moved further away from capital punishment in 2011.’”
- Bill Mears, CNN

Click here for a full media coverage report on DPIC's 2018 Year End Report

DPIC's former Executive Director, Richard Dieter with Jeffrey Toobin (l.), Kirk Bloodsworth (c.) and Ashleigh Banfield (r.), host of CNN's Legal View, Mar. 7, 2014.