The Death Penalty Information Center has modernized and expanded its award-winning website. On June 14, 2019, DPIC launched its redesigned website, culminating a two-year project that involved the transfer and reorganization of information on the Center’s more than 7,000 webpages. Among the most notable additions of the new website are 20 interactive Tableau graphics, including States With and Without the Death Penalty, Prisoners on Death Row, and a number of graphics on executions, exonerations, and grants of clemency. The graphics will allow users to filter information in a variety of new ways, including narrowing by year or range of years, geography, race, sex, and, for some graphics, race of victim. The website launch is the first reconceptualization of the DPIC website.

The new DPIC website was designed by Richmond, Virginia-based software company Foster Made, which also designed a new DPIC database to track and analyze information on death sentencing and executions in the United States. “We are thrilled and excited—and of course a little nervous—about the new website,” said DPIC Executive Director Robert Dunham. “We wanted to preserve the brilliant work created by [former Executive Director] Dick Dieter over the course of the 23 years he ran DPIC, while making the website more user friendly and more visually appealing. We think Foster Made did a terrific job and we encourage users to check out the new site and experiment with the new interactive graphics.”

DPIC hopes that the new, sleeker design of the website will help visitors find information and resources more easily. Visitors may encounter small challenges in the early days of the new site, including unavoidable issues with the site’s internal search function as Google gradually incorporates the new site into its search results. To assist visitors in navigating the new website, DPIC has prepared a guide to the site. The webguide highlights the new locations of DPIC’s most popular pages, including Upcoming Executions and States With and Without the Death Penalty. It explains the navigation menus, which divide many of our topics into “Policy Issues” and “Facts & Research.” Policy Issues includes major topics of debate related to the death penalty, including arbitrariness, innocence, and costs. Facts & Research includes pages that are less theoretical and more specific, including sentencing data, murder rates, and recent legislation. The navigation menu also makes it easier to find information on executions, death row, and state-by-state data. The guide also contains a brief introduction to the interactive graphics and a glossary of essential terms used throughout the website.

The launch of the redesigned website is only the beginning of DPIC’s efforts to improve the quality and accessibility of its resources. The database that currently provides information on executions and exonerations will be expanded in the coming months to include information on death sentences imposed across the United States. As DPIC completes its death-row census of the status of every death sentence imposed in the country since 1973, new interactive tables and graphics will allow visitors to examine death-sentencing patterns and trends at the national, state, and county levels. “The new website and database have enormous potential that we are just beginning to unleash,” Dunham said. “Its greatest asset may well be empowering the imaginations of journalists, advocates, and the general public to look at the death-penalty data in new and enlightening ways to ensure that opinions are formed and public policy decisions are made on this important issue based on facts rather than on myths.”


(Posted by DPIC, June 142019.)