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 In-Depth Reports

Jul 01, 1997

Innocence and the Death Penalty: The Increasing Danger of Executing the Innocent

This report tells the sto­ries of peo­ple like Rolando Cruz, released after 10 years on Illinois’s death row, despite the fact that anoth­er man had con­fessed to the crime short­ly after his con­vic­tion; and Ricardo Aldape Guerra, who returned to Mexico after 15 years on Texas’s death row because of a pros­e­cu­tion that a fed­er­al judge called outrageous…

DPIC Year-End Reports

Dec 17, 1996

The Death Penalty in 1996: Year End Report

The over­all pace of exe­cu­tions in the United States remained high in 1996 and the prospects for the future are for even greater num­bers of peo­ple put to death each year. Texas, the nation’s leader in exe­cu­tions for many years, vir­tu­al­ly stopped exe­cu­tions this year pend­ing res­o­lu­tion of a chal­lenge to the state’s new appeal laws.

DPIC In-Depth Reports

Oct 18, 1996

Killing for Votes: The Dangers of Politicizing the Death Penalty Process

Not only are can­di­dates for leg­isla­tive office cam­paign­ing loud­ly on the death penal­ty, even judges and local pros­e­cu­tors are cit­ing the num­bers of peo­ple they have sent to death row in their cam­paigns for office. Many of those seiz­ing the anti-crime man­tle not only advo­cate cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment, but also seek to out-do each oth­er in expand­ing the…

DPIC In-Depth Reports

Jun 01, 1996

Twenty Years of Capital Punishment: A Re-Evaluation

One day the Court will out­law the death penal­ty. Brennan, Jr., retired Supreme Court Justice, 1996 [1] From this day for­ward, I no longer shall tin­ker with the machin­ery of death. For more than 20 years I have endeav­ored – indeed, I have strug­gled – along with a major­i­ty of this Court, to devel­op pro­ce­dur­al and sub­stan­tive rules that would lend…