Please be sure to scroll down to explore helpful resources on this page!


capital punishment location:United_States - Google News

Click here for ASK AN EXPERT page

• PRO/CON - website with information about both sides of the death penalty debate -
• Article about cost of the death penalty:
• Death penalty and deterrence:


You are welcome to look for other groups - this list may help you get started.
American CIvil Liberties Union
Justice For All and related website Pro-deathpenalty
Amnesty International USA
The Innocence Project


• Here is a link to a recent Gallup poll on the death penalty, and how support has changed over time in the US:
• The Pew Forum website includes many resources on the death penalty, including important cases, graphics, timeline, etc.
Check it out!
World map of countries with/without the death penalty
• This fact sheet from the Death Penalty Information center has lots of stats related to all aspects of the death penalty. The last section has a bit about public opinion:


Suggested cases for you to review include (choose one):
Roper v. Simmons (highly recommend this case)
Atkins v. Virginia
Stanford v. Kentucky
Gregg v. Georgia
Furman v. Georgia

Here is one helpful resource link (type in case name in search box). The library has a number of excellent resources. You may use other online sources as well (with the exception of wikipedia).


Relevant laws - Recommended that you focus on the New Hampshire data (below)
Brief summaries on state and federal laws can be found at the Death Penalty Information Center. This page is particularly helpful because it focuses on recent legislative activity.

Federal Death Penalty Act - legal text and summary and another resource. History of Federal Death Penalty.
Federal crimes punished by the Death Penalty Information Center.
Summary of legislation - Death Penalty Information Center.
Innocence Protection Act - Sen. Patrick Leahy's office and Explanation of Law and 2010 UPDATE -

The New York Times provides background information here.

Criminal Justice Legal Foundation - position paper

Graph on the deterrence effect of the death penalty and an article that refutes that this kind of statistical analysis is valid.

Data on costs of execution vs. life in prison - Duke University Study

World map of countries with/without the death penalty

Maryland's compromise law - Washington law

American Bar Association's position on moratorium on the death penalty - The death penalty is typically an issue that is left up to states to decide. There is, also, a federal death penalty. See the American Bar Association's (ABA) recommendation here:
"Even if the systems in the states have problems, doesn’t everyone agree that the federal capital punishment system is fair?
No. Serious questions also have been raised about the fairness of the administration of the federal capital punishment system. On September, 12, 2000, the Department of Justice (DOJ) released a study of the federal death penalty that suggests the system is plagued by geographic disparities and ethnic bias. Fourteen of the 21 prisoners on federal death row at that time were from just three states – Texas, Virginia, and Missouri. The study also shows that prosecutors seek the death penalty much more often for Hispanic and African-American defendants. As of January 2002, 20 of the 24 prisoners on federal death row were African-American, Latino/a, or Asian. The ABA’s 1997 moratorium resolution applies to the federal government. Indeed, ABA Presidents have called upon the President of the United States to impose a moratorium on executions."


At the federal level, click on this link to see the organization chart for the Justice Department, responsible for federal capital cases (death penalty cases). The Justice Department also collects data about the death penalty carried out by the federal government and by the states. Click here for data through 2007.

At a state level, click here to learn more about New Hampshire's death penalty cases and the Attorney General's job.

Note that The Innocence Protection Act must be reauthorized in 2009, so perhaps that would be one angle to consider for a policy recommendation (= urge reauthorization).