Death Penalty Information Center

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Death Penalty Information Center
Formation 1990; 27 years ago (1990)
Type Non-profit organization
Purpose Information on issues concerning capital punishment
Headquarters Washington, DC
Executive director
Robert Dunham
Senior Program Director
Richard Dieter

The Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) is a non-profit database that focuses on disseminating studies and reports related to the death penalty by itself and others to the news media and general public. The Center was founded in 1990 and is primarily focused on the application of capital punishment in the United States. The Center does not take an official position on the death penalty,[1] but is in actuality an anti-death penalty organization.[2][3]

The Center is based in Washington, D.C., and its executive director is Robert Dunham. David J. Bradford, co-chairman of the litigation department for the national law firm, Jenner & Block, and the founding attorney of the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center is president of the board of directors, succeeding Michael Millman.


According to a pro-death penalty prosecutor, the DPIC is “probably the single most comprehensive and authoritative internet resource on the death penalty”, but “this site makes absolutely no effort to present any pro-death penalty views, and liberally spreads propaganda and rhetoric on behalf of ‘the cause’.”[4]

The State of Kentucky criticized DPIC's list of botched executions. On January 7, 2008, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in Baze v. Rees, a case challenging the three-drug cocktail used for many executions by lethal injection. The respondent's lawyer, Roy T. Englert, Jr., referred to the Death Penalty Information Center's list of “botched” executions. He criticized it because a majority of the executions on the list “did not involve the infliction of pain, but were only delayed by technical problems (e.g., difficulty in finding a suitable vein)”.[5][6]

The DPIC also has been criticized for its list of exonerated death row inmates by Ward A. Campbell, a California high prosecutor, who argued that the list contained cases where the defendant was "actually guilty", and that the DPIC itself was created to "shape press coverage of the death penalty."[7]


  1. ^ "About DPIC". Retrieved May 4, 2013. ...the Center promotes informed discussion of the death penalty by preparing in-depth reports, conducting briefings for journalists, and serving as a resource to those working on this issue. The Center releases an annual report on the death penalty, highlighting significant developments and featuring the latest statistics. 
  2. ^ "Three States Accounted For 80 Percent Of Executions in 2014". Retrieved December 18, 2014. The Death Penalty Information Center, a nonprofit organization that opposes executions and tracks the issue, said 35 inmates were executed this year and 71 have so far been given death sentences. 
  3. ^ Barry Latzer (2010), Death Penalty Cases: Leading U.S. Supreme Court Cases on Capital Punishment, Elsevier, p.21.
  4. ^ Death penalty links on Clarkprosecutor
  5. ^ Baze v. Rees oral arguments.
  6. ^ DPIC list of botched executions.

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