Reports and Studies

American Bar Association Virginia Death Penalty Assessment Report (August, 2013) View Full Report  or View Report Highlights

Read Op-Ed response to the report written by former VADP Executive Director, Steve Northup, and published Oct. 9, 2013 in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Death Penalty Information Center Reports:

How a Minority of Counties Produce Most Death Cases
at Enormous Costs to All

Struck by Lightning: The Continuing Arbitrariness of the Death Penalty thirty-Five Years After Its Reinstatement in 1976

Cost studies on the death penalty have been done recently in Maryland (2008) and California (2011) which find capital punishment to be far more expensive than life sentences:

View a summary of the Maryland report or read the entire report.

View a summary of the California report or read the entire report.

Equal Justice and Fair Play is an assessment of the capital punishment system in Virginia. Published by VADP in September, 2006, the report compares the 2002 recommendations of the Illinois Governor’s Commission on Capital Punishment to current Virginia law.

Read the full 2000 Joint Legislative and Audit Review Commission (JLARC) report on capital punishment in Virginia, or read the briefing here.

Among the findings of the Commission:

  • More than any other factor, the location of the crime (in non-urban areas), and whether the defendant was related to the victim were the factors most strongly associated with the decision of prosecutors to seek the death penalty.