How the


really works

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Today, nearly 3,000 people sit on death row in the United States.1

Some common


about the death penalty...

It's cheaper.


A death penalty case costs many times more than the cost of maximum-security imprisonment for life.2 3

Average cost of a death penalty case in Texas:4
Texas 40ab2f84c6acdaffb376e926a9209bc383783ba1a6de6fa12e30e5a0fa009c6c
Total cost of death penalty cases in California since 1978:5
California 8a9b020015b09ffdd67a10df069ef3acdc59d2f2e0179dc572085dbf9b5085ba

It deters murder.


Murder rates are actually 28% higher in death penalty states.6

88% of expert criminologists agree that executions do not lower homicide rates.7

innocent, but dead.

Over two dozen people executed by the death penalty are now believed to have been innocent.8

Another 150+ people were "near misses" — exonerated after spending an average of 11 years on death row.9

Face1 99ab3698688a8abbf0c41750390ebf010fdf1732d262215f564dbbac9c599ff3 Face2 e52f2ae67ba0733a15d807dcd0446e611c90ba540e037afd83e63706f52305ab Face3 84c2994ef31f53a4ce7f11d9e8ffe36e4f241c0498cfd04855a2f999be9964b7 Face4 0863cf531112b4cdf1cc8fbde95b2789325d61431ebc5502ca4d50de8df8e54c Face5 4d8e664f4e76c8242556d9004d4d6979ea45ec39f7718f4d6f443a86adc2e8ac Face6 356a7532e16967d6cc4ed73d5d8db1f5d0524b400071a7c9746f37b53cda76d1 Face7 3663139d47e641188404064f62cb531e7ba54821ed7cf6bc96881e1225b2f2a0 Face8 6f5a08f8695dc2a7660b43afc39852c80e4df8b6863aa323536b23eabfeb2a31 Face9 803dad9bd08d3496f3e3db078b19d25016a470505bca5a44e6584aaf1f9c2705 Face10 7f21262598806945e498eabd9b4d6a68887d224bf34ba76ba9e78c68fb2ce561 Face11 ff95e6564c322f5ee12922cb5ddeffef30b830257e5b90d5b65f9e81eff196d5 Face12 bbf94c1df65b63cfd3361c400d65f4d3506eb162cae775377c4d63c39585d50b


One study found that jurors are


more likely to recommend a death sentence for a black defendant than for a white defendant in a similar case11

Cases with white victims are significantly more likely to face death penalty charges. Why?

A study in Georgia found the following disparity:10

Race of victims in all eligible homicide cases

Race of victims in cases that ended in death penalty

It's highly unusual for a democratic society to have such a violent policy.

Most executions, by country (2015):12

#1 China
#2 Iran
#3 Pakistan
#4 Saudi Arabia
#5 United States

For the past decade, a majority of Americans have prefered other punishments for murder, such as life without parole.13

what can you do to help?

Spread the word!

California, vote in November!

Do you live in California? This year, you have the opportunity to get rid of the death penalty in your state.

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