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.
Feb 18, 2021
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…
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…