DPIC In-Depth Reports


Sep 15, 2020

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

(Washington, D.C.) As social move­ments pres­sure pol­i­cy­mak­ers to redress injus­tices in the crim­i­nal legal sys­tem and to insti­tute reforms to make the process more fair and equi­table, the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) today released, Enduring Injustice: the Persistence of Racial Discrimination in the U.S. Death Penalty.” This report pro­vides an in-depth look at the his­tor­i­cal role that race has played in the death penal­ty and details the per­va­sive role racial dis­crim­i­na­tion con­tin­ues to play in the admin­is­tra­tion of cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment today.

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Nov 10, 2015

Battle Scars: Military Veterans and the Death Penalty

In many respects, vet­er­ans in the United States are again receiv­ing the respect and grat­i­tude they deserve for hav­ing risked their lives and served their coun­try. Wounded sol­diers are wel­comed home, and their courage in start­ing a new and dif­fi­cult jour­ney in civil­ian life is right­ly applaud­ed. But some vet­er­ans with debil­i­tat­ing scars from their time in com­bat have received a very dif­fer­ent recep­tion. They have been judged to be the worst of the worst” crim­i­nals, deprived of mer­cy, sen­tenced to death, and exe­cut­ed by the gov­ern­ment they served.

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Jun 22, 2011

Struck by Lightning: The Continuing Arbitrariness of the Death Penalty Thirty-Five Years After Its Reinstatement in 1976

The United States Supreme Court approved the re-instate­ment of the death penal­ty 35 years ago on July 2, 1976. Although the death penal­ty had ear­li­er been held uncon­sti­tu­tion­al because of its arbi­trary and unpre­dictable appli­ca­tion, the Court was will­ing to sanc­tion new sys­tems that states had pro­posed to make cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment less like being struck by light­ning” and more like ret­ri­bu­tion for only the worst of the worst” offend­ers. The Court also deferred to the states’ judg­ment that the death penal­ty served the goals of ret­ri­bu­tion and deterrence.

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