DPIC Reports

Below are reports released by the Death Penalty Information Center since its inception, covering subjects such as race, innocence, politicization, costs of the death penalty, and more. When opening a report, please allow the report page to load fully before selecting links to sections or footnotes. Most of these reports are also available in printed form from DPIC. For a copy of one of these reports, e-mail DPIC. For bulk orders, please download our Resource Order Form.

Reports are separated into Year End Reports, In-Depth Reports, and Special Reports. In-Depth Reports are DPIC's signature long, thorough reports on major death-penalty issues. These include "The 2% Death Penalty," examining geographic arbitrariness in capital punishment, and "Behind the Curtain," covering secrecy in the death penalty system. Special Reports are shorter, and typically address a specific event or question. These include DPIC's explanation of the 2017 spate of executions that were scheduled in Arkansas, and our analysis of the largest number of executions performed on a single day.


DPIC Special Report: The Innocence Epidemic

In 1993, the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights con­duct­ed hear­ings on what was then a rel­a­tive­ly unknown ques­tion: How sig­nif­i­cant was the risk that inno­cent peo­ple were being wrong­ful­ly con­vict­ed and sen­tenced to death in the United States. That research — under­tak­en before the avail­abil­i­ty of the inter­net — uncov­ered 48 cas­es in which a wrong­ful­ly con­vict­ed per­son had been released from death row…


Jul 01, 2021

DPIC 2021 MID-YEAR REVIEW: Virginia’s Historic Death Penalty Abolition Accompanies Continuing Record-Low Death Penalty Usage in First Half of Year

The year began with three exe­cu­tions that con­clud­ed the Trump administration’s unpar­al­leled spree of 13 fed­er­al civil­ian exe­cu­tions in six months and two days, and saw state attempts to revive grue­some, dis­used exe­cu­tion meth­ods and to intro­duce nev­er-before-tried ways of putting pris­on­ers to death. The low num­bers were once again unquestionably…

DPIC Year-End Reports

Dec 16, 2020

The Death Penalty in 2020: Year End Report

At the end of the year, more states had abol­ished the death penal­ty or gone ten years with­out an exe­cu­tion, more coun­ties had elect­ed reform pros­e­cu­tors who pledged nev­er to seek the death penal­ty or to use it more spar­ing­ly; few­er new death sen­tences were imposed than in any pri­or year since the Supreme Court struck down U.S.

DPIC Special Reports

Oct 23, 2020

DPIC Analysis: Use or Threat of Death Penalty Implicated in 19 Exoneration Cases in 2019

The use or threat of the death penal­ty was a fac­tor in more than 13% of exon­er­a­tions across the United States in 2019 and near­ly 95% of those cas­es involved some form of major mis­con­duct, a Death Penalty Information Center analy­sis of data from the National Registry of Exonerations has revealed. A September 2020 report by the National Registry of…

DPIC In-Depth Reports

Sep 15, 2020

Enduring Injustice: the Persistence of Racial Discrimination in the U.S. Death Penalty

DPIC Releases Report Placing Death Penalty in Historical Context as a Descendant of Slavery, Lynching, and Segregation” Death Penalty Must Be Part of Current Debate About Criminal Legal System Reforms (Washington, D.C.) As social move­ments pres­sure pol­i­cy­mak­ers to redress injus­tices in the crim­i­nal legal sys­tem and to insti­tute reforms to make…

Jul 20, 2020

The Federal Government Restarts Federal Executions Amid Procedural Concerns and a Pandemic

The fed­er­al gov­ern­ment exe­cut­ed Daniel Lewis Lee the morn­ing of July 14, 2020. His exe­cu­tion was the first con­duct­ed by the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment in sev­en­teen years, and it was fol­lowed close­ly by the exe­cu­tions of Wesley Ira Purkey (July 16) and Dustin Lee Honken (July 17). With these exe­cu­tions, the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment has joined the small minority…