Justice Center University of Alaska Anchorage UAA Justice Center

Death penalty > FAQ

Focus on the Death Penalty

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


 

Index
Alaska
History
Statistics
Death
  Row
The
  Debate
Issues
Organizations
International
   
We receive numerous messages from members of the public seeking additional information about the death penalty and from students who are writing papers or completing projects about capital punishment. This page addresses many of the questions we're asked. If you have a question but don't find its answer here, please address them to Melissa Green at ayjust@uaa.alaska.edu.
     This FAQ provides information about:


Disclaimer: The Justice Center is not responsible for the content of any outside site linked here, nor does a listing here imply an endorsement of a site's opinions or content or a guarantee of its accuracy. For further information about this site, including answers to questions by students, see the FAQ.

Authorship

"Who wrote this website?"

The Focus on the Death Penalty website is designed, written, and maintained by Melissa S. Green, a staff member of the Justice Center at University of Alaska Anchorage. Green also designed and maintains the overall Justice Center website.


Questions about Alaska

"Does Alaska have a death penalty?"

No. Alaska had a death penalty during territorial days until the Territorial Legislature abolished it in 1957. Since Alaska Statehood in 1959, Alaska has never had a death penalty, though there have been a number of attempts to introduce one. Further information about the history of the death penalty in Alaska is on the Alaska portion of this site.


Opinions & Advocacy

"What is your position on the death penalty?"

This site takes no position on the death penalty. It is an educational site intended to provide information about all aspects of capital punishment, including resources on both sides of the debate, so that members of the public can make their own decisions about this important issue.

As a matter of policy, the author of this site does not answer questions designed to elicit her personal opinions on the death penalty.

Numerous sites which do advocate one side or another of the death penalty debate are linked from this site. However, as stated in our Disclaimer, "The Justice Center is not responsible for the content of any outside site linked here, nor does a listing here imply an endorsement of a site's opinions or content or a guarantee of its accuracy."

"I'm [in favor of] / [opposed to] the death penalty. How do I join your organization?"

The Justice Center is an academic department and research unit at the University of Alaska Anchorage. It is not an advocacy organization on either side of the death penalty debate, and does not offer memberships.

"Why do there seem to be fewer pro-death penalty than anti-death penalty sites listed on your website?"

Fewer pro-death penalty than anti-death penalty organizations are represented on the Internet. This may be due to the fact that most U.S. states have a death penalty. States authorizing capital punishment frequently make information on executions in their states available on the Internet (see the Death Row page). Because such websites reflect state sanction of capital punishment, they might be considered to be "pro-death penalty sites."

"My [relative] / [friend] has been sentenced to death, but is innocent; please help us with his/her case."

The Justice Center is unable to assist with fundraising, publicity, or legal defense in death penalty cases, regardless of the merits of the case.


Suggesting/Updating Links

"I have a website related to the death penalty, but it's not linked from your site."

Send an email message to ayjust@uaa.alaska.edu with your suggested link. This is not a guarantee that your website will be listed on our site—the Focus on the Death Penalty site is designed to be an educational site, not a comprehensive listing of all possible death penalty links.

"Your link to [name of site] is out-of-date."

Please send an email message to ayjust@uaa.alaska.edu with the correct URL and the name of the page where the out-of-date link appears.

"Your website is out-of-date."
All work on the Focus on the Death Penalty website is in addition to its author's other duties at the Justice Center. Updating is in progress right now, but will take some time. Progress will be noted on the site's home page.

Research Assistance

"Could you please assist me in researching....?"

We receive occasional requests for aid in researching particular facts about the death penalty. For example, we've received messages asking for help in locating the transcript for a particular capital trial; for finding information about where and when a particular inmate might have been executed; for finding out if there are any inmates on U.S. death rows from London, England; for locating resources on European opinions about continued use of capital punishment in the U.S.

The Focus on the Death Penalty website was designed to help members of the public to research their questions about capital punishment on their own. Of course, not every possible question can be answered purely via the Internet.

Although the Justice Center is a research, as well as an academic, unit, Justice Center faculty and staff do not in fact conduct research projects about the death penalty—in part because Alaska is not a death penalty state. Nor does the Justice Center archive information on capital punishment or its administration. Because of research and other work obligations, we are unable to assist with most research questions. In some cases, however, we may be able to point you towards sites or other resources which may have the type of information you're looking for.

Justice Center personnel will not conduct research on behalf of students writing research papers or doing other school assignments, regardless of grade level.


Student Questions

"I'm a student and I have to write a paper about the death penalty. Could you send me an email with links on the death penalty?"

The Focus on the Death Penalty web site in itself provides links to resources on all aspects of the death penalty. If you have are in search of resources in areas that are not represented on this website, please write with specific questions.

"I'm a student writing a position paper about the death penalty. I'm [in favor of] / [opposed to] the death penalty. Would you please provide me with some arguments?"

No. We can't supply your arguments for you. The pages The Debate and Specific Issues each provide a number of resources on both pro and anti sides of the death penalty debate, and may be helpful in constructing your own arguments. Be wary of copying the exact wording of any source you use: most teachers and instructors will give you a bad grade or even fail you for plagiarism. If you use an exact quote, make sure that you credit the source and cite it correctly. (See Citing This Website for how to cite.)

"I'm writing a paper and need to know this information: [list of information points needed]. Please provide this information as soon as possible."

The Justice Center cannot conduct research on behalf of students who are completing school assignments. Please check our web site; the answers to some of your questions may be found there. If you require further assistance on completing your school assignment, talk with your teacher or instructor.


Interviews

"I'm writing a paper for my class and I need to interview someone who [in favor of] / [opposed to] the death penalty. Please answer the following questions."

The Focus on the Death Penalty website is designed to help students and other members of the public make their own decisions about the questions you're asking. As a matter of policy—mine personally, as well as that of the academic and research department I work for—I do not conduct research for student research assignments or participate in interviews designed to elicit my personal opinions on questions related to the death penalty. I would be, however, glad to point out resources where you might discover your own answers to some of your questions.

I am willing to participate in interviews from journalists asking questions of a factual nature. In practical terms, this has happened only once (a reporter from the Anchorage Daily News asking questions about death penalty costs).

Suggested sources for interviews for student assignments

Have you considered contacting your local police department and seeing if you might interview a police officer? Or interviewing a religious leader, such as a priest, minister, or rabbi? Or the nearest office of the American Civil Liberties Union, or some other legal organization or individual lawyer (you might get references through your local bar association) who has opinions on these matters? The state representative or state senator for your district might also be glad to discuss these questions with you.


Citing This Website

"I'm writing a paper on the death penalty and am using your website as a resource. Who is the author of your website? How should I cite it?"

The Focus on the Death Penalty website is designed, written, and maintained by Melissa S. Green, a staff member of the Justice Center at University of Alaska Anchorage.

Here are some suggested citation styles for use in your bibliography.

For the entire site

Green, Melissa S., compiler. (1998-2009). Focus on the Death Penalty (website). Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage. <http://justice.uaa.alaska.edu/death/>  (accessed date you accessed page).

For a specific page from the site

Green, Melissa S. (date page was last updated). "Name of specific page." In Melissa S. Green, compiler (1998-2009), Focus on the Death Penalty (website). Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage. <http://www.uaa.alaska.edu/just/death/pagename.html> (accessed date you accessed page).

The date the page was last updated is found at the very bottom of every page of this website. In addition, each page of this website provides a citation following this style at the bottom of the page.

Please note that in the Alaska section of this website there are some articles by a different author, and/or with more specific dates of publication. In those cases, you should cite that author and/or date.

These are only suggested citations styles. Your teacher or instructor may wish you to follow a different citation style.

For websites linked from this site

Please note that I am the author only of pages on this website, but not of the vast majority of resources that are linked from this site. If you use information from a linked website, you'll need to document its author/publisher information. Further information on how to cite from sources on the World Wide Web and other electronic sources are available from The Columbia Guide to Online Style and from the various free Noodlebib tools from Noodletools which can help you create bibliographic citations in MLA (Modern Language Association), APA, and Chicago/Turabian styles.


Green, Melissa S. ( 29-Jan-2009 ). "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)." In Melissa S. Green, compiler (1998-2009), Focus on the Death Penalty (website). Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage. <http://justice.uaa.alaska.edu/death/faq.html> (accessed date).

[This is a suggested citation style for students. For further info, see FAQ: Citing this Website.]


Return to Death Penalty Index Justice Center Home Page | UAA Home Page

© Copyright 1998-2009, University of Alaska Anchorage

Last updated 02-Jun-2010 by ayjust@uaa.alaska.edu
University of Alaska Anchorage