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Capital Punishment Clemency Petitions Digitized

- August 09, 2006

The Capital Punishment Clemency Petitions Collection has been digitized and links to PDF files of the petitions are available from the finding aid for the collection at http://library.albany.edu/speccoll/findaids/apap214.htm. Unlike judicial proceedings, claims raised in clemency petitions are free of procedural defaults that can mask error, unfairness, or irrationality in a given death sentence. Petitions thus can reveal what the sentencing authority may not have known because of attorney error, prosecutorial misconduct, newly discovered evidence, or other reasons. As part of his work with The Constitution Project, William J. Bowers established the Capital Punishment Clemency Petitions Collection Collection at the National Death Penalty Archive in the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives. This collection comprises approximately 150 clemency petitions in death penalty cases, from almost two dozens jurisdictions. It is the initial installment in a collection that attempts to gather all death penalty clemency petitions filed in the United...