Death Penalty Overview

Current News
  • On November 16, 2016, Lewis & Clark Law School and Seattle University Department of Criminal Justice released a study of the death penalty in Oregon. Entitled Oregon’s Death Penalty: A Cost Analysis, the study provides an estimate of the economic costs of murder cases resulting in the death sentence compared to the costs of other cases that result in some form of life sentence. See report here.
  • On November 8, 2016, death penalty reform suffered defeats in California and Nebraska. In California Proposition 62 which would have repealed the death penalty and replace it with life without possibility of parole, failed 54% to 46%. In Nebraska, Referendum 426 that would have retained the abolishment of the death penalty failed.  Finally in Oklahoma on Question 776, declared that the death penalty constitutional allows for executions with methods not prohibited by the US Constitution.

"The death penalty is barbaric. And I think we as a society need to come face-to-face with that. If we’re not willing to face up to the cruelty, we ought not be doing it."
- Alex Kozinski, United State Court of Appeals Judge for the Ninth Circuit

Because we believe that no amount of tinkering will rescue the death penalty from its inherent flaws, NACDL supports legislation to abolish the death penalty. In addition, NACDL supports individual state efforts to halt and study the death penalty as well as federal legislation to institute a moratorium. NACDL's Board Resolution Calling for a Moratorium on and Abolition of the Death Penalty 

90 Million Strong Campaign

On Tuesday, December 9, 2014 NACDL joined the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and a national coalition of civil rights, human rights, religious and pro-liberty groups for the launch of the 90 Million Strong Campaign.  The Campaign signifies the 90 Million Americans who believe that the death penalty is wrong.

NACDL Executive Director, Norman L. Reimer expressed in his remarks at the launch of the campaign, “The practice of government-sponsored execution has no place in the modern criminal justice system...It produces arbitrary, sometimes irrational outcomes, and it perpetuates racial and ethnic disparity.”

To learn more, visit “90 Million Strong Campaign.” 

Gallup Poll - "U.S. Death Penalty Support Lowest in More Than 40 Years"   

Death Penalty bedIn addition, NACDL's January 2012 National Advocacy Call on Developing Legislation featuring a discussion on death penalty moratorium reform efforts around the country.  For more information on the National Advocacy Calls on Developing Legislation please click here.


 See NACDL Executive Director, Norman L. Reimer's interview about why he is opposed to the death penalty.  


CLE Programs 


Make the case...for your client's life at NACDL's 19th Annual Making the Case for Life Seminar. For more information, click here!

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