National Death Penalty Archive

National Death Penalty Archive

Researchers, writers, activists, and records on capital punishment in the United States.
The National Death Penalty Archive (NDPA) is a partnership between the University at Albany Libraries and the Capital Punishment Research Initiative (CPRI) at the University's School of Criminal Justice. In 1999, researchers at the School of Criminal Justice formally established the CPRI. Its overarching goals were research and education -- initiate capital punishment research activities, facilitate collaboration among researchers, and make findings and information available to legal and criminal justice policymakers, practitioners, and the public. One of the original goals of the CPRI was to establish and maintain a collection of archival materials documenting the important history of capital punishment, and to provide resources for historical scholarship. This growing collection of archival materials is housed in the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, which is located in the University's state of the art Science Library. Open since 1999, the new archival repository includes climate-controlled storage for more than 25,000 cubic feet. The following collections have been acquired for the NDPA through the collaborative efforts of the CPRI and the University Libraries; work is continuing to build this important link to the history of capital punishment in the United States.
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National Death Penalty Archive: apap309

Capital Defender Office Records, 1975-2007, bulk 1995-2007

116.73 cubic ft.
The Capital Defender Office (1995-2008) (CDO) was established as part of New York States 1995 death penalty legislation which took effect on September 1, 1995. Under the new law, the State expanded the crime of first degree murder and introduced two new penalties, death and life in prison without possibility of parole, for those convicted. Working from offices in Albany, New York City, and Rochester, the CDO sought to ensure that defendants being tried by the State, who could not afford representation, receive skilled counsel in capital cases. The CDO closed its Rochester office in 2005, and, as no state death penalty cases remain, the Albany and New York City offices in 2008. This collection consists of news clips (filed by subject), subject files, bound records of appeal in the cases of the People v. Cahill, Harris, LaValle, Mateo, McCoy, and Taylor, notebooks with appellate briefs, New York county court papers arranged by county, government studies, reports and debates on capital punishment, annual reports, and a small number of VHS tapes recording court proceedings. There are defendant case files, some with correspondence, court papers, and news clips and others with just news clips.
National Death Penalty Archive: apap196

Capital Jury Project, 1941-2011

81.8 cubic ft.
The Capital Jury Project (CJP) was started in 1991 under the direction of principal investigation, William J. Bowers. The project was funded by an NSF grant to conduct surveys of juror who participated in capital trials. There are three phases to the project.
National Death Penalty Archive: apap332

Elisabeth Semel Papers, 1977-2012

8.66 cubic ft.
Elisabeth Semel's papers primarily consist of articles published from the 1990s to early 2000s used by Semel in her research and work concerning the death penalty.
National Death Penalty Archive: apap301
online content

M. Watt Espy Papers, 1730-2008

88.76 cubic ft.
The M. Watt Espy papers chronicle the extensive research efforts that led to the creation of the Capital Punishment Research Project and the database known as the Espy File. Espy spent three decades gathering and indexing documentation of legal executions in the United States. His papers contain both primary and secondary sources used to catalog thousands of instances of capital punishment in the United States and its territories since the 1600s. The collection includes material from corrections records, newspapers, county histories, legal proceedings, and books. In addition to the records pertaining specifically to the death penalty, there is also a selection of magazines collected by Espy that cover true crime stories as well as life in the American Old West.
National Death Penalty Archive: apap298

National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty Records, 1972-2006, Undated, bulk 1981-2006

27.55 cubic ft.
Since 1976 the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty has been working to educate the public about the failings and inconsistencies of capital punishment in the United States. Founded after the Gregg v. Georgia Supreme Court decision in 1976, the NCADP has emerged as one of the more influential national anti-death penalty organizations. The collection contains the group's internal case files, administrative material, publications, petitions, photographic materials, video tapes, and audio cassettes.
National Death Penalty Archive: apap330

Victor L. Streib Papers, 1908-2012, Undated, bulk 1978-2007

22.8 cubic ft.
The Victor Streib Papers contain research materials and legal case files on the death penalty in the United States with a focus on how it has been applied to women and juveniles.