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Media Advisory: UAlbany Announces Major Addition to National Death Penalty Archive
Recognition event on Friday Sept. 26th to include talks by renowned capital punishment scholars Michael Radelet and William Bowers

Contact(s):  Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150

ALBANY, N.Y. (September 24, 2008)

The National Death Penalty Archive (NDPA) houses the records and documents of leading figures in scholarship, and legal and community organizations, as well as oral history interviews featuring prominent activists and professionals involved in death penalty abolition efforts and related work. The University at Albany announced the establishment of NDPA in August 2005.


Standish Room, Science Library, University at Albany, 1400 Washington Ave, Albany NY

Friday, September 26, 5 p.m.

The NDPA was initiated by the School of Criminal Justice's Capital Punishment Research Initiative (CPRI), working in collaboration with the University at Albany Libraries' M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives. The Capital Punishment Research Initiative was founded in the late 1990s with three primary goals: (1) to build and maintain a national archive for historical documents and data on the death penalty; (2) to plan and conduct basic and policy related research on capital punishment; and (3) to encourage scholarship, conduct graduate and undergraduate training, and disseminate scientifically grounded knowledge about the ultimate penal sanction.

Previous acquisitions of NDPA have included the papers and research materials of professor Michael A. Mello, an internationally recognized authority on the death penalty and capital punishment who represented Joseph Robert "Crazy Joe" Spaziano, Theodore Bundy, and Paul Hill. Other collections include the research of Hugo Adam Bedau, the Alvin Ford Collection, the Oral History of the Death Penalty in America Project, the Bill Babbitt Papers, the Capital Jury Project collection, the Capital Punishment Clemency Petition collection and the records of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

Professor Michael L. Radelet, Chair of the Sociology Department at the University of Colorado, is a prolific researcher and author on a wide variety of capital punishment issues. His research includes landmark studies about innocence and miscarriages of justice in capital cases, racial disparities in the administration of the death penalty, and the plight of murder victims' survivors. Radelet is on the Board of Directors of UAlbany's Capital Punishment Research Initiative.

Dr. William J. Bowers is the Director of the Capital Jury Project, a groundbreaking study involving research based on lengthy interviews with more than 1200 jurors who have served in capital cases in 14 states. The research has shed light on the inner workings of capital juries and how they arrive at their life and death sentencing decisions.  The work has been cited in U.S. Supreme Court and numerous other judicial decisions and has been the subject of several scholarly articles and books. Bowers is an authority on public opinion about the death penalty, deterrence and capital punishment, and racial disparities in capital charging and sentencing decisions. Bowers also is on the Board of Directors of the CPRI.

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