Capital Punishment: 

The first known execution in the territory now known as the United States of America was of Daniel Frank, put to death in 1622 in the Colony of Virginia for the crime of theft. Since then the death penalty has almost always been a feature of the criminal justice system, first in the American colonies and then, after independence, in the U.S.
General Information
History of Capital Punishment in the U.S.
Anti Death Penalty
Pro Death Penalty
Women and the Death Penalty
U.S. Supreme Court Decisions
Executing Juveniles
Executing the Mentally Ill  or Mentally Retarded
Execution in Missouri

General Information:

Death Penalty Links :  Extensive site of links.

FRONTLINE:  Angel on Death Row : Frontline episode on the death penalty, view, info & links.  Lots of information on the death penalty.

Death Penalty: Specific Issues : Cvers both sides extremely well.

DeathPenalty.Net :  Excellent site with loads of information.

Death Penalty Information Center :  published annually by Bobit Publishing Company and Police Magazine. Includes complete listing of inmates living on death row.

Focus on the Death Penalty :  ncludes history, U.S. Supreme Court cases, statistics, death row, the international context.

Ethics Update: Death Penalty

Death Penalty

DEATH PENALTY :  This has some good information on both sides of the issue.

 UAA Justice Center: Focus on the Death Penalty :  This site has a lot of good material.

The Nation | Article | Death Trip: The American Way of Execution | Robert Sherrill

Death Penalty Links from MegaLaw.Com. (200+)

Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty: Anti-death Penalty News and Articles

American Bar Association Focus on Law Studies: The Death Penalty. (Spring 1997)

Capital Punishment: Life or Death? :  A class created web page presenting both sides of the argument.

Death Penalty Information Center :  The DeathPenalty Information Center is a non-profit organization serving the media and the public with analysis and information on issues concerning capital punishment.  The Center was founded in 1990 and prepares in-depth reports, issues press releases, conducts briefings for journalists, and serves as a resource to
those working on this issue.

Death Penalty and Sentencing Information in the United States. :  a site by JFA (Justice for All) which endorses capital punishment. A MUST  SEE for all who are researching the death penalty.

Focus on the Death Penalty: Specific Issues :  From the UNiversity of Alaska - Anchorage.  Great information on the issues of pro and anti death penalty views.

Death Penalty Information

Crimestrike! A Primer: Capital Punishment in the United States!

Capital Defender's Toolbox : This web site gives death penalty statistics, news, updates, and addresses of U.S. Governors.

U.S. Department of Justice Statistics: Capital Punishment 1999 :  This annual report provides information on those under sentence of death, including information on the offender's sex, race, Hispanic origin, education, marital status, and age at time of arrest for capital offense. The report also provides information on methods of execution, trends, and time between imposition of death sentence an execution. Historical tables present executions since 1930 and sentencing since 1973.

The Death Penalty :  Interesting personal web page.

Virtual Reality video Tour Of New York State's Death House :  From

American Bar Association

Cornell Law School Death Penalty Project   :  This site has historic Supreme Court cases, recent Supreme Court cases, and an analysis of the eighth amendment of the constitution.

Does Capital Punishment Deter Crime?

Facts About Deterrence and the Death Penalty :

Court TV-Death Penalty :  Court TV Library, State by State look at the death penalty, history of the DP, statistics, articles and Analysis.

CJBS: Capital Punishment

The Death Penalty Page

Sources of Death Penalty Statistics :  Links to the most comprehensive sources of statistics on the death penalty in the United States.

Bureau of Justice Statistics : maybe THE best source for stats and info on capital punishment in US.

Executions :  Links to resources with detailed information on prisoners executed in the United States.

Public Opinion Polls on the Death Penalty

State Prison Death Rows :  Official web sites of state correctional departments which provide death row information.

Outside Reports on State Prison Death Rows :  Further information on life and conditions  on death row from sources other than state correctional departments.

Life on Death Row :  Resources on life in the death house and individual condemned prisoners.

Methods of Execution :  About the five methods of execution currently authorized by states and the federal government: lethal injection, electrocution, gas chamber, firing squad, and hanging.

 Angel on Death Row. A Portrait of Sr. Helen Prejean

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Execution in Missouri:

Missouri's Death Row: Capital Punishment in Missouri

Missouri Victim's Assistance Network :  This maybe THE best source for stats and info on capital punishment in US.

Lethal Injection Protocol :  For the state of Missouri.

MO Department of Corrections

Juvenile Offender Public Opinion Survey, Amnesty International, April 2003

"Missouri's Death Row Cases",

Missourians to Abolish the Death Penalty

"Miscarriages of Justice" :  Report released by Missourians to Abolish the Death Penalty, January 16, 2001

Mid-Missouri Fellowship of Reconciliation

Western Missouri Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

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Execution of Juveniles:

THE JUVENILE DEATH PENALTY TODAY:  Death Sentences and Executions For Juvenile Crimes 1973-2003:  Comprehensive and authoritative work by Victor L. Streib, Professor of Law at Ohio Northern University, available only in electronic format. Historical background; Execution of Juvenile Offenders January 1973 - December 31, 2001 by name, state, date of execution, age at crime, age at execution; Legal Context; Minimum
Death Penalty Ages by American Jurisdiction; Foreign Countries; Juvenile Death Sentences Imposed January
1973 - December 31, 2001 by state and by year; Current Death Row Juvenile Inmates with short case summaries. (Updated December 21, 2001)

Executions of Juvenile Offenders :  General facts on juveniles who have been executed, with details about the 9 offenders executed for crimes committed while they were juveniles since 1973.

 Minimum Death Penalty Ages by American Jurisdiction :  Information based on "The  Juvenile Death Penalty Today: Present Death Row Inmates under Juvenile death Sentences and Death Sentences and Executions for Juvenile Crimes, January 1, 1973 to June 30,  1997" by Victor L. Streib, 18 August 1997; made available by the Death Penalty Information Center. Information on the legal context and listing of minimum ages provided by state statute in death penalty states.

"Young and Retarded are Fair Game," by Robert Sherrill. (The Nation January 8, 2001) : Part of a long feature article, "Death Trip: The American Way of Execution." Emphasis on executions of juveniles and mentally incompetent defendants.

"Defending Categorical Exemptions to the Death Penalty," by Carol & Jordan Steiker. (Law & Contemp. Probs. Autumn 1998) :  Lengthy article reflecting on the American Bar Association Resolutions concerning the execution of juveniles and persons with mental retardation.

 Juvenile Death Penalty Proposed. (NBC) :  NBC News article by Clif Caldwell in the wake of the Jonesboro, Arkansas shootings, spotlighting the efforts of an Arkansas legislator to reduce the minimum age for the death penalty from 17 to 10.

"Children and the Death Penalty: Executions worldwide since 1990." (Amnesty International 2002) : Thorough report on the execution of "juvenile" offenders from Amnesty International, listing all such executions in any country since 1990, International Treaties and Human Rights Standards, U.N Resolutions. (September 25, 2002)

"The Exclusion of Child Offenders From the Death Penalty Under General International Law." (Amnesty International 2003) :  "This paper examines the evidence supporting the conclusion that the use of the death penalty against child offenders is prohibited under customary international law and as a peremptory norm of general international law." (July 18, 2003)

"Teen Brains on Trial; The science of neural development," by Bruce Bower." (Science News May 8, 2004) :  New data on teens' unfinished brain development may aid efforts to get rid of the juvenile death penalty in the United States.

Juveniles and the Death Penalty. (Death Penalty Information Center) :  Case Summaries for Current Death Row Inmates Under Juvenile Death Sentences; Facts about Gary Graham on Texas Death Row; Juveniles executed since 1976; Jurisdictions with an age minimum of 18 for capital punishment; Short summary of the work of Victor L. Streib.

"Too Young to Vote, Old Enough to be Executed." (Amnesty International) :  Amnesty International/Death Penalty USA article on the upcoming Texas execution of Napoleaon Beazley, 17 when he committed capital murder. Interviews with the Beazley family and details of his trial and appeal.  Includes statistics of juvenile executions in Texas and worldwide. (July 31, 2001)

 "The Myth of Executing Children," by Jeff Jacoby. (FreeReupublic.Com June 6, 2002) :  Columnist bypasses the anti-death penalty rhetoric to recognize a simple fact: No state allows the death sentence for anyone younger than 16, and no one younger than 23 has been executed in modern times. (Boston Globe)

 Amnesty International/Death Penalty USA Pages: Time to Stop Executing Juvenile Offenders. :  Amnesty International Press Release demanding that the USA join the modern world and stop executing juvenile offenders. (August 16, 2001)

Juvenile Executions Worldwide Since 1990. (Amnesty International, November 1998) :  List of juvenile offenders executed worldwide since 1990, by name, country, age at crime, and date of execution; International Agreements and Treaties relating to the treatment of juvenile offenders, from Amnesty International. (November 1998)

 Stop Killing Kids! (National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty) :  Juvenile Fact Sheet, Juvenile Death Penalty Talking Points, and "Human Rights, Human Wrongs: Sentencing Children to Death (March 2003)

 "The Young and the Doomed," by Scott Shackford. (Columbia Free Times) :  These are all the things that we will not allow 16 year olds to do. We don't allow them to do these things because we don't think they are sufficiently mature. But we will allow them to be executed. Listing of South Carolina's murderers on death row for crimes committed while juveniles.

 America's Shame - Killing Kids (National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty) :  Short summary of statistics to confirm that the United States leads the world in killing kids.

 Juveniles on Death Row - Juveniles Executed in the United States (1976-March 2004) :  Name, Race, DOB, and State of each juvenile offender on death row; Name, Race, State, Date of Execution, Age at Murder, age at Execution. From the International Justice Project.

 "Killing Hope: the Imminent Execution of Sean Sellers." (Amnesty International, December 1998) :  Summary of trial errors, mitigating factors, and international laws broken relating to the upcoming execution of Oklahoma death row prisoner Sean Sellers, 16 years old when he murdered a shop clerk and both of his stepparents.

 "On the Wrong Side of History: Children and the Death Penalty in the USA." (Amnesty International, Oct 1998) :  Arguments against the execution of juvenile offenders, with historical and worldwide references, and a list of
those executed in the United States since 1977, and those currently on Death Row.

 "The Slippery Slope of Executing Children," by Kevin Acers. (Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish DP) : Essay noting that the United States has failed to adopt the International Convention on the Rights of the Child.  "The word "barbaric" comes to mind. But if we take a look at the death penalty in our own country today, we’ll see that we are standing on a very slippery slope."

 "Dead Teen Walking: Shareef Cousin." (Time.Com, January 19, 1998) :  The United States is one of the few nations that put juveniles on death row. Shareef Cousin is one of them.  On Death Row in Louisiana, he may be innocent. Five Part series from Time.Com by Christopher John Farley and James Willwerth.

 "Juveniles on Death Row: How Young is Too Young?" by Buck Wolf. (ABC News, December 15, 1998) :  ABC News article on the execution of juvenile offenders in the United States, including a list of all juvenile offender
executions, by name, state, race, age at murder, and age at execution.

"Can Violent Criminals be Too Young to Execute?" by Silvio Carrillo. (SpeakOut.Com May 3, 2000) :  Short article discussing the 2000 executions of "juveniles" in Virginia and Texas, from SpeakOut.Com, with links to articles and organizations.

 George Stinney, The Youngest Person executed in the U.S. in 1900's. :  Short article and mugshot of Michael Stinney, executed in South Carolina in 1944 at the age of 14 for the murder of two white girls, aged 8 and 11.

Juveniles and the death penalty: Executions worldwide since 1990 - Amnesty International

Thompson v. Oklahoma, 487 U.S. 815 (1988) and  Stanford v. Kentucky, 492 U.S. 361 (1989)

Executions of Juvenile Offenders

Minimum Death Penalty Ages by American Jurisdiction

Juveniles and the Death Penalty: Executions Worldwide Since 1985

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Execution of the Mentally Ill or Retarded:

Execution of the Mentally Ill or Mentally Retarded:

 Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304, 122 S. Ct. 2242, 153 L.Ed. 2d 335. (June 20, 2002) : Petitioner Atkins was convicted of capital murder and related crimes by a Virginia jury and sentenced to death. Affirming, the Virginia Su­preme Court relied on Penry v. Lynaugh, 492 U. S. 302, in rejecting Atkins’ contention that he could not be sentenced to death because he is mentally retarded. Held: Executions of mentally retarded criminals are “cruel and unusual punishments” prohibited by the Eighth Amendment.

Execution of the Mentally Retarded (Death Penalty Information Center) and Execution of the Mentally Retarded (Fight the Death Penalty in USA) : List of 34 allegedly mentally retarded inmates who have been executed since 1976, by name, state, race, IQ, and date of execution, with short summaries of each.

 State Statutes Prohibiting Execution of Retarded (Death Penalty Information Center) : List of state statutes Prohibiting the Death Penalty for People with Mental Retardation, with short summaries of each.

 "Beyond Reason: The Death Penalty and Offenders with Mental Retardation." (Human Rights Watch March 2001) :  Thorough and well-referenced anti-death penalty article on the execution of the mentally retarded. Overview; Legal Standards; Miscarraiges of Justice in Capital Trials; Criminal Culpability; Individualized Sentence
Determination; 16 Defendants with retardation and their stories.

"Young and Retarded are Fair Game," by Robert Sherrill. (The Nation January 8, 2001) : Part of a long feature article, "Death Trip: The American Way of Execution." Emphasis on executions of juveniles and mentally incompetent defendants.

 "Defending Categorical Exemptions to the Death Penalty," by Carol & Jordan Steiker. (Law & Contemp. Probs. Autumn 1998) :  Lengthy article reflecting on the American Bar Association Resolutions concerning the execution of juveniles and persons with mental retardation.

 "Justice and Aid for the Mentally Ill," by Abagail Trafford. (Washington Post January 26, 2001) :  To stave off the threat of execution, lawyers believe he has to stay sick. To cure him could kill him. His lawyers, on the outside, apparently think this is rational. Even humane. By not treating a treatable disease and relieving pain, they are conceivably saving a life. Who's crazy now? (Reposted by "Against the Death Penalty")

 "Execution vs. Treating Ills," by Michael King. (Christian Science Monitor, August 16, 1999) : Short article on the upcoming Texas execution of Larry Robinson, who allegedly committed 5 murders where the "evidence is abundant that Robison was completely insane at the time of the murders."

 "Can Low-IQ Convicts Be Put on Death Row?" (Christian Science Monitor, March 26, 2001) :  Short article on the upcoming hearing before the United States Supreme Court in the case of John Paul Penry on Texas death row.

 "What About Retarded Criminals," by Bruce Shapiro. (Salon.Com June 13, 2001) :  Although Bush says they shouldn't be executed, his Texas record shows otherwise, fueling the division between America and Europe over the death penalty.

 Offending Justice: Execution of the Mentally Incompetent (National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty) :  Short "fact sheet" on executions of the mentally incompetent from an anti-death penalty point of view.

"Beyond Reason: Executing Persons with Mental Retardation," by Jamie Fellner. (ABA 2001) :  Pre-Atkins anti-DP article from the Section of Individual Rights & Responsibilities of the American Bar Association. (Summer 2001)

Ford v. Wainwright, 477 U.S. 399 (1986) : Held that it is unconstitutional to execute a person who is insane.

"Eddie Mitchell: Mentally Fit to Die?" by Abbie Boudreau. (Medill News Service 2000) :  Short article on the status of Eddie Mitchell, on Louisiana Death Row since 1992 with an IQ of 66. (From Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism)

"No Death Penalty for Persons with Severe Mental Illness"

Penry v. Lynaugh, 492 U.S. 302 (1989)

Defendants with Mental Retardation Executed in the United States Since the Death Penalty was Reinstated in 1976

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History of Capital Punishment:

The Execution of Caleb Adams :  This site chronicles the life, crime, trial, and execution by hanging of Caleb Adams, a nineteen-year-old convicted in 1803 of murdering a six-year-old boy.

History of the Death Penalty

History of the Death Penalty

Death Penalty\History :  Short article.

History of Capital Punishment

Close Up Foundation: Captal Punishment in the United States

Frontline: the execution: readings: history of the death penalty and  Timeline

Lesson 20: The History and Structure of Capital Punishment

Online Reading - US Department of State

MSN Encarta - Further Reading - Capital Punishment

Vol. 12 No. 6 (June 2002) pp. 260-264

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U.S. Supreme Court Decisions:

Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238 (1972) :  Death penalty under current statutes is "arbitrary and capricious" and therefore unconstitutional under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.

 Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U.S. 153 (1976) :  Reinstates the death penalty under a model of guided discretion.

 Woodson v. North Carolina, 428 U.S. 280 (1976) :  Mandatory death penalty laws declared unconstitutional.

 Coker v. Georgia, 433 U.S. 584 (1977) :  Death penalty for the rape of adult women declared unconstitutional because the sentence  was disproportionate to the crime. Twenty prisoners from around the country were removed from death row as a consequence of this decision.

 Lockett v. Ohio, 438 U.S. 586 (1978) :  Sentencing authorities must have the discretion to consider every possible mitigating factor, rather than being limited to a specific list of  factors to consider. This decision resulted in the release of 99 prisoners from Ohio's death row.

 Ford v. Wainwright, 477 U.S. 399 (1986) :  Held that is is unconstitutional to execute a person who is insane.

 Thompson v. Oklahoma, 487 U.S. 815 (1988) :  Ruled that youths younger than 16 years old at the time of their offense cannot be constitutionally executed.

 Penry v. Lynaugh, 492 U.S. 302 (1989) :  Ruled that it is not categorically unconstitutional to execute a mentally retarded person found guilty of capital murder. Some states have enacted laws specifically excluding capital sentencing for persons determined to be mentally retarded.

 Stanford v. Kentucky, 492 U.S. 361 (1989) :  Reaffirmed the court's opinion that it was not unconstitutional to execute youths at least 16 years old at the time of committing a capital offense. A number of states define minimum ages authorized for capital punishment.

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Anti Death Penalty:

Useful links to anti death penalty information

 Victims' Families who Oppose Death Penalty FAQ : Links to articles and letters from or about families of
                  murder victims and their position on the death penalty
                  from the  Washington Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

 Missourians to Abolish the Death Penalty

 American Society of Criminology, Critical Criminology : This site has a general collection of death penalty information, including government statistics, court decisions, and articles and writing critical of the death penalty.

 National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty : The page has listings of national, state, and local abolitionist organizations, legal resources, execution alerts, anit - death penalty issues and statistics.

 American Civil Liberties Union, Death Penalty Campaign :  This site provides news and information about capital punishment in the U.S. The page offers resources for activists, as well as updates on federal and state legislation regarding capital punishment.

 "Some Twentieth Century Erroneous Convictions" :  Presents case information on 24 men executed for crimes of which they were almost certainly innocent.

 Capital Punishment is Irreversible

"How Many Innocent Inmates Are Executed? An Illinois coalition moves to stop the death penalty in the wake of startling statistics"

Amnesty International USA :  The Program to Abolish the Death Penalty seeks to abolish the use of the death penalty and to increase the number of US states and nations which have removed the death penalty from their legal codes.

 American Civil Liberties Union :  Another obvious place for opponents to hook up. It is generally up-to-date, with information on the latest threats to Habeas Corpus, new federal death penalty legislation and the newsletter 'The ACLU Abolitionist."

 Court TV Law Library :  This site offers Congressional statutes for which federal crimes warrant capital punishment and statistics on the death penalty. There's also a Legal Times article about why the right to habeas corpus appeals for death row inmates must be preserved.

 Citizens United for Alternatives to the Death Penalty :  Citizens United for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (CUADP) works to end the death penalty in the United States through aggressive campaigns of public education and the promotion of grassroots activism.

 National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty :  The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty is a coalition of nearly 150 national, state and local affiliates. They ally themselves with religious organizations, civil and human rights groups, criminal justice agencies, and murder victim's families to work against violence and crime. It is their belief that the abolition of capital punishment is the most crucial part of that work.

Fight the Death Penalty in USA - Living Conditions on Death Row

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Pro Death Penalty:

 Capital Punishment: Life or Death?

 Pro-death : a resource for those searching the internet for pro-death penalty  information and resources.

Pro Capital Punishment Page

 Capital Punishment: Give us Liberty and Give Them Death!!!

 Myth vs Facts :  Good arguments for the pro death penalty stand.

 Citizens for Law and Order

 "FIGHT BACK" - Reasons to support the Death Penalty"

 Executions are definitely a deterrent to crime:  Interesting article.

 JUSTICE NOW!!! The Pro Death Penalty Web Pages.

 Resources in support of the Death Penalty

 National Center For Policy Analysis: Idea House : Series of pro-death penalty articles dealing with topics such as racism, recidivism, deterrence, and expanding the death penalty.

 Clark County, Indiana, Prosecutor : The site has information about the death penalty in the U.S. and in Indiana as well as a collection of over 1,000 death penalty links arranged by subject.

 Pro-death :  Justice For All's comprehensive pro-death penalty site with articles, links, and up-to-date death penalty information and news.

 "The DP is Moral and Just"

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Women and the Death Penalty:

Women and the Death Penalty

TalkLeft: Women and The Death Penalty: Special Report

Case Summaries for Current Female Death Row Inmates

Women and the Death Penalty

Women on Death Row

"Why Women Aren't Executed: Gender Bias and the Death Penalty"

Gender Bias and the Death Penalty

Searching for a Silver Lining in Death Penalty's Gender Bias

Women Who Have Received the Death Penalty in Florida

Case Summaries for Current Female Death Row Inmates

Court TV Library: Death Penalty

Feminist Daily News 12/3/2004: Women on Death Row Suffer Harsher ...

Is the Death Penalty Good for Women? : PDF

NWSA Journal: Women and the Death Penalty in the United States ...

Gendercide Watch: Incarceration and the Death Penalty - The online resource on capital punishment

DPIC's Women and the Death Penalty

History: Current Issues and Topics

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