Founded in 1988, Death Penalty Focus is one of the largest nonprofit
advocacy organizations in the nation dedicated to the abolition of
capital punishment through public education; grassroots and political
organizing; original research; media outreach; local, state and
nationwide coalition building; and the education of religious,
legislative and civic leaders about the death penalty and its
We believe that the death penalty is an ineffective, cruel,
and simplistic response to the serious and complex problem of violent
crime. It institutionalizes discrimination against the poor and people
of color, diverts attention and financial resources away from
preventative measures that would actually increase public safety, risks
the execution of innocent people, and does not deter crime.
We are convinced that when the electorate is informed about
the true human and financial costs associated with state-sanctioned
killing, the United States will join the majority of nations throughout
the world who have abolished it. Death Penalty Focus has eleven active
volunteer chapters in California and more than 50,000 members and supporters
DPF sponsors research projects and opinion polls, organizes year-round
public education and professional media campaigns, and develops
conferences, seminars and workshops.
DPF publishes and distributes a variety of publications and manages an
interactive website. Our newsletter The Sentry and our monthly email
bulletins provide comprehensive information on current death penalty
news. DPF distributes thousands of pieces of educational materials each
year, available in both English and Spanish, and has developed an
educational curriculum for high school teachers interested in
discussing the death penalty with their students.
DPF produces and aggressively disseminates opinion editorials, letters
to the editor, press releases and reports to newspapers. Board
members and staff participate in hundreds of radio, television, and
print interviews each year.
DPF mobilizes death penalty opposition by organizing educational events, rallies, vigils and other public demonstrations.