Capital punishment is one of the most hotly debated issues facing the United States criminal justice system. While over 70 percent of the general population reportedly supports the death penalty, there is a growing movement of vocal opposition to the practice. The main reasons that these people oppose the death penalty vary, but many cite racial bias, errors which cause innocents to be executed, and cruelty of the execution method. These are 50 of the best blogs and resources that discuss both sides of the issue.
Pro-Death Penalty Blogs
There are few pro-death penalty blogs on the Internet, because it is an unpopular position, and because the law as it stands satisfies pro-death penalty bloggers.
- Crime and Consequences The Criminal Justice Legal Foundation is an organization that supports the continued use of the death penalty in America.
- Pro Death Penalty At Pro Death Penalty, you can read many articles supporting the view that capital punishment should be continued in the United States.
- Pro Capital Punishment Page Wesley Lowe’s Pro Capital Punishment page draws on many different sources for its assessment that capital punishment is justified and a deterrent to violent crime.
These blogs and resource websites attempt to keep the debate balanced on both sides, providing resources and ways for different people to share ideas.
- CrimProf Blog: Capital Punishment A group of criminal law professors blogs about the death penalty and its application across the United States.
- Texas Death Penalty Blog The Dallas Morning News hosts this blog, which is dedicated to continuing the ongoing debate about the justice of capital punishment.
- Sentencing Law And Policy Douglas A. Berman, of The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, was awarded the “2005 Best Blog By A Law Professor” for his work here.
- Clark County Prosecutor Steven D. Stewart. the Clark County, IN Prosecuting Attorney has over 1,000 capital punishment links on his website, both arguing for and against the practice.
- UAA Justice Center: University of Alaska Anchorage This is an informative and well-researched site that has capital punishment information for each of the 38 states where that is legal.
- Executed Today This morbidly fascinating blog, which is neither for or against the death penalty, presents a daily account of a historical execution.
- Death Penalty Is This blog is dedicated to providing a lively debate about the merits and the faults of capital punishment. News articles are included.
- SCOTUS Blog The Supreme Court of The United States is the sole subject of this blog, whose writes cover cases, nominations, and opinions in detail.
International Anti-Capital Punishment Groups
These groups fight for the abolition of the death penalty on a worldwide scale.
- Amnesty International: Death Penalty Amnesty International views the death penalty as the ultimate violation of human rights. Get news updates on the death penalty around the U.S. here.
- Asia Death Penalty The Asian continent is the site of the most frequently-executing countries in the world. This blog supports the efforts to end capital punishment in Asia.
- Human Rights Blog This human rights blog covers human rights violations by governments around the world and also has over a hundred links to websites pertaining to capital punishment.
- World Coalition Against The Death Penalty This French organization brings together the news about the death penalty from around the world.
- Lifespark Lifespark is a Swiss organization opposed to the death penalty that was founded in 1993. They facilitate people becoming “pen-pals” with Death Row inmates across the United States.
- Canadian Coalition Against The Death Penalty The CCADP is a Canadian group that reaches out to Death Row inmates in Canada and America, helping fight to prove their innocence.
National Anti-Death Penalty Groups
These groups use high-profile cases to help make their cases to the public about why executions are inhumane and represent a huge cost to the state.
- ACLU Blog Of Rights: Capital Punishment The staunchly anti-death penalty ACLU blogs about issues related to capital punishment here.
- Death Penalty Focus Death Penalty Focus presents anti-death penalty viewpoints from around America.
- Death Penalty News and Updates Rick Halperin of Southern Methodist University keeps this blog update don a weekly basis with news articles and the names of the recently executed.
- Abolish the Death Penalty Blog The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty maintains this blog dedicated to getting the death penalty repealed nationwide. The authors tell stories of the lives affected by the death penalty.
- Sister Helen Prejean Sister Helen Prejean, renowned death penalty abolitionist, keeps this page updated on a periodic basis with news from the field.
- Death Penalty Information Center The Death Penalty Information Center blog includes news and reports from all over the United States regarding the death penalty, legal challenges, and other death penalty items of interest.
- Campaign To End The Death Penalty Campaign To End The Death Penalty is a national chapter-based group whose sole objective is to abolish capital punishment in the U.S.A.
- Anti Death Penalty The Anti Death Penalty Blog has articles about the history of the death penalty, execution statistics, and arguments against the death penalty.
- The Federal Death Penalty Resource Counsel The FDPRC presents the latest legal news related to capital punishment cases prosecuted on the federal level.
- Death Penalty Moratorium Implementation Project This project of the American Bar Association calls for a moratorium on the death penalty on America because the penalty is administered in an “unfair and discriminatory” fashion.
- Innocence Project The Innocence Project’s mission is to help wrongly accused prisoners who may be exonerated with proper DNA testing. Since 1992 when the group was founded, they have helped over 250 people gain their freedom once again.
- Equal Justice Initiative The Equal Justice Initiative maintains that the death penalty is undesirable because many innocent people are sentenced to die, the process harbors racial bias, and many lawyers for the indigent are incapable of rendering an adequate defense.
Blogs About Texas
Why Texas? Texas executes more people each year than any other state in America; consequently, activists focus on Texas as a place where action is urgently needed to stop the death penalty.
- The StandDown Texas Project Begun in 2000 to recommend a halt to all executions in the state of Texas, StandDown Texas believes that a review of the death penalty process in Texas is in order.
- Grits For Breakfast This blog covers the criminal justice system in Texas, which is known worldwide for its proportionately high number of executions each year.
- Execution Watch Elizabeth Ann Stein hosts a weekly radio program on a liberal Houston radio station. She focuses her blog on anti-death penalty efforts in Texas.
- Texas Death Penalty Blog The Blog of Students Against The Death Penalty highlights the stories of everyone on Death Row in Texas. They publicize legal challenges to the death sentences as well.
- Texas Moratorium Network The Texas Moratorium Network seeks to place a moratorium on all executions in Texas due to the possibility of innocents being executed.
- Cameron Todd Willingham: Innocent And Executed The story of Cameron Todd Willingham, a Texas man who appears to have been wrongly convicted of the murders of his children and executed in 2004.
- Texas Death Penalty Education and Resource Center Texas Death Penalty Education and Resource Center is working tirelessly to have the death penalty not just temporarily stopped, but completely repealed.
Other Anti-Death Penalty Organizations
These are regional, non-Texan death penalty abolitionist groups.
- Maryland Citizens Against State Executions MD CASE is a group of people and organizations throughout the state of Maryland who are fighting for the repeal of the death penalty.
- Southern Center For Human Rights The lawyers of the Southern Center For Human Rights represent death row inmates during the appeal process as well as in the post-conviction review.
- Georgians For Alternatives To The Death Penalty The GFADP is working for better practices in the criminal justice system of Georgia; most of all, to end the death penalty.
- Harmfulerror JoNell’s blog covers Nevada court cases as well as those heard by the Supreme Court.
- Tennesseans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty Tennesseans for Alternatives To The Death Penalty blog about the latest news related to capital punishment in their state as well as in neighboring states.
Blogs By Inmates And By Murder Victims’ Families
These blogs give us some more insight into the daily lives and thoughts of Death Row inmates and victims’ families who oppose capital punishment.
- Journey Of Hope Journey Of Hope is an organization led by the families of murder victims plus the families of people on Death Row. They discuss alternatives to the death penalty.
- Murder Victims’ Families For Reconciliation The MVFR, founded in 1976, is a group made up of family members of murder victims who oppose the death penalty.
- Murder Victims’ Families For Human Rights MVFHR is an international group based in the United States. All members have something in common: they have lost a loved one to murder or execution, and they oppose the death penalty.
- Deadman Talking This blog consists of a series of columns written by Dean Carter, a Death Row inmate in California’s San Quentin Prison.
- Meet Vernon Vernon Lee Evans is a death row inmate in Maryland who has been blogging for a while. He received a stay of execution in 2006.
Personal Anti-Death Penalty Blogs
- The Lonely Abolitionist Carrie J. is against the death penalty and chooses to blog about particular cases in which she thinks the sentence is particularly unjust.
- Capital Defense Weekly Capital Defense Weekly, started by New Jersey lawyer Karl Keys, has been in existence since 1997, before anyone was calling these things “blogs.”
- Terry Lenamon on the Death Penalty Terry Lenamon is a board-certified attorney who specializes in death penalty defense. He is sought after as a commentator on death penalty cases.
- Uncommon Sense Cuban activist and death penalty opponent Marc Masferrer blogs about the perceived injustice in the capital punishment system as well as the plight of Cuban political prisoners.