Kenneth Jost of Congressional Quarterly has prepared a comprehensive review of the death penalty in the U.S. for the recent edition of the CQ Researcher. The overview looks at death penalty trends in the past 10 years, public opinion, and arguments for and against repealing the death penalty. Jost quotes many experts, including DPIC’s Executive Director concerning the recent direction of capital punishment in the U.S. “‘The decline in the use of the death penalty is the continuing story,’ says Richard Dieter, the [Death Penalty Information] center’s Executive Director. ‘Death sentences, executions, the number of states that have the death penalty, and the size of the population on death row have all declined in the last decade.’ The Center’s statistics bear out Dieter’s claims,” Jost writes. The report is accompanied by charts and graphs illustrating important trends, and contains a bibliography, chronology, and places to go for more information. The significance of the innocence issue, including the large number of exonerations from death row in recent years, is highlighted in the review. The volume concludes with a debate on whether the death penalty deserves to be retained between DPIC’s Richard Dieter and Kent Scheidegger of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation.

(K. Jost, “Death Penalty Debates: Is the capital punishment system working?,” 20 CQ Researcher 965 (Nov. 19, 2010). See Studies and DPIC’s Reports.