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Death penalty > Organizations

Focus on the Death Penalty

Death Penalty Organizations & Sites, Pro & Con


Though the federal government and 38 of the 50 states have death penalty laws, and public opinion polls in the last decade have generally indicated that the majority of Americans favor capital punishment, organizations and sites advocating the abolition of the death penalty are more common and easily found on the World Wide Web than organizations and sites favoring retention of the death penalty. That more anti than pro-death penalty sites are listed on this page is due to that reality, and should not be construed to indicate the Justice Center's advocacy of either a pro or con position on the death penalty.
     This page includes only secular organizations and sites. For religious organizations and sites on the death penalty, see The Debate: Religion.

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.

Organizations & Sites Opposing the Death Penalty

ABOLISH (the death penalty) Discussion List Archives
A semi-moderated discussion list serving as a forum for the exchange of ideas and information, political as well as philosophical, by people who support the immediate abolition of capital punishment in the United States and abroad; it "does not nor will it ever serve as a forum for debate regarding abolition vs. retention." Archives are also maintained at St. John's University.

ACLU Death Penalty Campaign
The American Civil Liberties Union considers the death penalty to be unconstitutional under the Eight Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and that its discriminatory application violates the Fourteenth Amendment.

Amnesty International Website Against the Death Penalty
Amnesty International is a well-known international human rights organization based in London, with chapters throughout the world. It has an ongoing worldwide anti-death penalty campaign and issues reports on the death penalty in a number of countries, including the U.S.

ASC Critical Criminology Section: Death Penalty Information & Resources
A resource guide from the American Society of Criminology (ASC) Critical Criminology Division, offering statistical information on capital punishment in the U.S. and in Illinois. Additional resources and documents available here comprise primarily anti-capital punishment resources, but recently has begun to collect pro-death penalty resources as well.

Citizens United for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (CUADP)
An activist organization advocating restoratives justice and alternative sentencing for convicted murders (i.e., a minimum of 25 years imprisonment before parole eligibility for convicted murders, and life imprisonment without possibility of parole in some cases.)

Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC)
A non-profit organization serving the media and the public with analysis and information on issues concerning capital punishment. It prepares in-depth reports, issues press releases, conducts briefings for journalists, and serves as a resource to those working on this issue.

Developed and maintained by a network of national organizations opposed to capital punishment.

The Death Penalty is Dead Wrong
Part of the JusticeNet Prison Issues Desk. News items, abolition resources, and groups working toward abolition.

Links Toward Abolition
A project of the Other Side of the Wall (Prison Law Page), this page provides numerous links on anti-death penalty activism, death penalty law, local (California) articles, prisoners, prisoner support, religious perspectives, and pro-death penalty sites. It is frequently updated.

  • The Other Side of the Wall: The main site hosting Links Toward Abolition includes articles on prison issues, frequently relating to the death penalty.

Murder Victims Families for Reconciliation
Abolitionist organization comprising relatives of homicide victims. "MVFR knows that - in spite of that pain - vengeance is not the answer. The taking of another life by state killing only continues the cycle of violence."

National Center on Institutions and Alternatives
NCIA is a private, nonprofit agency which focuses on alternatives to institutionalization, reduction of correctional overcrowding, community reintegration of offenders, and other criminal justice reforms.

  • Capital Case Assistance: Capital cases in which NCIA has assisted and succeeded in mitigating the defendant's sentence.

National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
A nationwide coalition of nearly 150 national, state, and local organizations working toward the abolition of capital punishment.

Physicians for Human Rights: Research & Investigations
Several documents here on the involvement of medical doctors in executions by lethal injection, in violation of ethical standards set by the American Medical Association.

Anti-Death Penalty Organizations in the States
This list is not comprehensive.

  • Death Penalty Focus of California: A California nonprofit with nearly 10,000 members providing information on California death penalty law, the cost of the death penalty in California, and activities of the organization.
  • Lamp of Hope Project: Texas nonprofit primarily administered by Texas death row prisoners. Its mission is "to educate the public about the death penalty and alternatives; to support victims' families by promoting healing and reconciliation; and to support prisoners' families, thereby breaking the cycle of violence."
  • Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (VADP): Statewide citizens' organization dedicated to educating the public about alternatives to capital punishment and providing outreach to the families of murder victims. See also A Virginia Death Row Site.
  • Washington Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty: A coalition, created in 1984, of community, religious, and legal organizations in Washington State opposing capital punishment. This site provides information on Washington's death penalty and death row (sometimes more up-to-date than information provided by the Washington Department of Corrections), as well as activist alerts, a quarterly newsletter, and other information.

Anti-Death Penalty Sites & Organizations in Other Nations
This list is not comprehensive.

  • Australian Coalition Against Death Penalty: ACADP works against the death penalty internationally and against the reintroduction of the death penalty to Australia. Australia has no death penalty.
  • Canadian Coalition Against the Death Penalty: The CCADP is a non-profit, human rights organization dedicated to educating on alternatives to the death penalty worldwide, with a special focus on the U.S. and providing emotional and practical support to death row inmates, their families, and the families of murder victims. (Canada does not itself have a death penalty.)
  • Fight the Death Penalty in the USA: A frequently-updated Danish site by Niels Graverholt with extensive information in both Danish and English, including selected articles from Danish and German media about U.S. death penalty cases.
  • Lifespark: A Swiss anti-death penalty organization with information in English, German, Italian, and Spanish. Lifespark specializes in setting up penfriendships with U.S. death row inmates.
  • Moratorium 2000 International Campaign: Information in English and Italian on a campaign for an international moratorium on the death penalty by the year 2000; through the Comunità di Sant'Egidio, a religious community in Rome.

Organizations & Sites Favoring the Death Penalty

Clark County Indiana Prosecuting Attorney
Steven D. Stewart, Prosecuting Attorney for Clark County, Indiana, has established this web site with information on Indiana's death penalty and an extensive listing of death penalty-related web sites.

The Death Penalty: A Defence by David Anderson
Follow the Union Jack link to the updated English version (published 2001) of a book originally published in 1998 in Swedish defending the death penalty. This site is also available in Swedish.

Justice For All
A Texas-based not-for-profit advocating for criminal justice reform with an emphasis on victim rights. Justice for All is a strong advocate of the death penalty, and has established a separate site, Prodeathpenalty.com, dedicated to pro-death penalty information and resources. It has also established Murdervictims.com for survivors of victims of homicide.

Justice Against Crime Talking
Founded by a father whose daughter was murdered, this site (formerly Citizens for Law and Order Talking) advocates swifter application of the death penalty following sentencing, with a primary focus on death penalty cases in California. Addresses a number of death penalty issues.

National Center for Policy Analysis Idea House: Capital Punishment
The National Center for Policy Analysis is a nonprofit think tank. This site includes a number of brief pro-death penalty articles from newspapers and other publications.

Established by the Texas-based criminal justice reform organization Justice For All to provide pro-death penalty information and resources.

Throw Away the Keys
Parents of a murdered child plea for help in keeping his murderer in prison. Advocates the death penalty for convicted murderers.

Pro Death Penalty Page
A one-page site responding to common anti-death penalty arguments.

Green, Melissa S. ( 16-Mar-2005 ). "Death Penalty Organizations & Sites, Pro & Con." 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/procon.html> (accessed date).

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