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Religious Tolerance logo

Capital punishment: The death penalty

Web sites and books

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The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

Death Penalty web sites:

bulletInformation sources:

"Criminology: Death Penalty Resources" has an extensive list of links to websites both pro and anti capital punishment, as well as websites discussing death penalty laws, religious aspects and wrongful murder convictions. See:

bullet"Status of the international covenants on human rights: Question of the death penalty," UN Economic and Social Council, 1998-JAN-16, at: This lists the current status of the death penalty, worldwide.

bulletThe Clark County (IN) Prosecuting Attorney maintains a listing of over 1000 death penalty links, both pro and con. See: 

bulletThe alt.activism.death-penalty news group dedicated to the capital punishment issue

bulletThe Michigan State University Libraries have a "Criminal Justice Resources Home Page" with many links to sites with death penalty information. See:

bullet List Verse has a group of "Top 10 lists" including one of "10 convicts presumed innocent after execution." See:

bulletA summary of a 15 page annual report, prepared by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics lists statistical data about capital punishment in the United States. The report was issued in 1994-DEC. See:

bulletThe The Death Row Page provides a central reference of death row prisoners' web pages, or information on the net about their specific cases. See:

bulletA home page listing many links to reports, agencies, statistical data, etc. is at:

bulletPersonal stories:
bulletWalkalone is a unique web site. The webmaster has "...written to a few death row inmates, some who claim their innocence and some who admit to guilt, in hopes that they will contribute to a blog -- a simple record of what life is like for these men, what they face on a day-to-day basis and what they hope to achieve before itís too late." See:

bulletTravis Runnels is 35 years-of-age and is sitting on death row in Texas. He maintains a blog in English and French at:

bulletAnti-death penalty resources: 
bulletThe Moratorium Campaign promotes a petition against the death penalty which calls for a temporary cessation of executions. See: have a list of death penalty hyperlinks at:

bullet ACLU Execution Watch CounterThe American Civil Liberties Union is mounting an anti-death penalty campaign. They are calling on a moratorium on future executions. They write: "Right now, more than 3,500 inmates sit on Death Row in America. Almost all are poor, and a wildly disproportionate number are people of color. In addition, most had legal representation that ranged from inadequate to grossly incompetent." 


anti-death penalty logo Anti Death Penalty website maintains a list of upcoming executions scheduled at: They also have many essays on related topics, book lists, statistics, history, quotes, etc. They also maintain a list of other websites opposed to the death penalty at:

bulletCatholics Against Capital Punishment is a "national advocacy organization working for the abolition of the death penalty in the U.S." See: 

bulletVirginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (VDAP) is at:

bulletAmnesty International USA commits much of their effort to oppose the death penalty. See: They have three publications on-line:

bullet"Killing with prejudice: Race and the death penalty in the USA," 

bullet"Fatal flaws: Innocence and the death penalty," at:

bullet"On the wrong side of history: Children and the death penalty in the USA," at:

bulletThe Natural Law Party opposes the death penalty and feels that the public would agree if better programs aimed at crime prevention, prison rehabilitation, and prisoner assessment were implemented. See:

bulletThe Mennonite Central Committee in the U.S. has an essay on "state killing." See:

bulletThe Death Penalty Information Center deals in depth with innocent people being sentenced to death. See:

bullet"Dismantling the Death Penalty" has many links at and biblical passages on the death penalty at:

bullet"Statement on Capital Punishment," Christian Council of Delaware and Maryland's Eastern Shore at:

bulletPro-death penalty resources:
bulletJohn Hart, "Death penalty serves justice to victims," at:

bulletNinth Circuit Capital Punishment Handbook at:

bulletDavid L. Brown, "The Bible's teaching on Capital punishment," Logos Christian resource pages, at:

bulletPro-death promotes the continuation of the death penalty. They have a list of scheduled executions, with descriptions of the cases. See: 

bullet"Wesley Lowe's pro death penalty webpage," analyzes the common anti-death penalty arguments at:

bulletSteve Farrell, "Thou shalt not kill -- A convicted murderer?," at:

bulletWeb site in favor of limited executions:
bulletAttorney James Lynch, Jr., suggests that the death penalty is acceptable in the case of murder, only if the "defendant has the requisite culpability, and the State cannot, beyond a reasonable doubt, effective control defendant's behavior by mere incarceration." See:   

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Books and stuff:

We particularly recommend the following books. Most cost between $7 and $11:

Sr. Helen Prejean, "Dead man walking: An eyewitness account of the death penalty in the United States," Vintage Books (1996) 

Washington Post Book World describes the book as: "An immensely moving affirmation of the power of religious vocation...Stunning moral clarity...a profound argument against capital punishment.You can read reviews and/or safely order it from the online bookstore.

Mark Constanzo, "Just Revenge: Costs and Consequences of the Death Penalty," St. Martin's Press, (1998)

Professor William J.Bowers, from Northeastern University comments: "If you want an insightful, empirically grounded weighing of the pros and cons of the death penalty, this book is the best place I know to find it.You can read reviews/order it.

Lathleen O"Shea, "Women on the row: Rd\eflections from both sides of the bars," Firebrand Books, (2000). "...a slim but shattering volume of reflections by women, some but not all of whom claim to be innocent, describing their lives before and since being placed on death row." You can read reviews/order it.

Gardner C. Hanks, "Against the Death Penalty: Christian and Secular Arguments Against Capital Punishment," Herald Press, (1997)

Synopsis: "Drawing on Old and New Testament resources as well as secular arguments, Gardner C. Hanks shows that the death penalty harms rather than helps any quest for a just, humane society." You can order it from

James J. Megivern, "The Death Penalty: an Historical and Theological Survey," Herald Press,  (1997)

Synopsis: "...A history of theological, philosophical, legal and popular arguments about the viability of capital punishment. The book shows how capital punishment has been ineffective and thus implicitly argues for its elimination." You can order it from

Hugo A Bedau, Editor, "The Death Penalty in America: Current Controversies," Oxford University (1997)

Synopsis: "The most comprehensive reference book available on the subject presents original essays offering extensive information on the issues, Supreme Court rulings, and practices involving the death penalty, from a wide range of perspectives." You can order it from

Gail B Stewart, "The Death Penalty" (Opposing Viewpoints Digests), Greenhaven Press, (1998).

Synopsis: "Reviews opposing arguments regarding the death penalty, including whether or not it is just, deters murder, and is applied fairly." You can order it from

You can order T-shirts and tank tops with anti-death penalty slogans: "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind," and "Why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?" from Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, at: 

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Copyright © 1995 to 2012 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally published: 1995-JUN-8
Hyperlinks checked: 2002-OCT-25

Last updated 2012-JAN-21
Author: Bruce A Robinson
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