In anticipation of the symposium The Next Generation of Death Penalty Research: Priorities, Strategies, and an Agenda presented by the Capital Punishment Research Initiative and the School of Criminal Justice on October 6-7, 2006, the new finding aids highlighted in this posting are from the National Death Penalty Archive.
Steven Hawkins was the executive director of the National Coalition Against the Death Penalty (now known as the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty) based in Washington, D.C. Hawkins has worked as an advocate for civil and human rights representing persons under a death sentence. The papers contain meeting subject files that include extensive minutes of board meetings, speeches, fundraising and reception notes, and pamphlets and other papers relating to his attendance at board and committee meetings with related organizations, such as the Death Penalty Information Center and Amnesty International. The papers also contain copies of police reports, witness and investigator statements, and defendant testimony regarding the cases of certain high-profile death row inmates.
Death Penalty in New York Testimony Collection
The Death Penalty in New York Testimony Collection includes testimony given to the New York State Assembly Standing Committee on Codes, Assembly Standing Committee on Judiciary, and Assembly Standing Committee on Correction in 2004-2005. The collection includes testimony from 137 witnesses, including officials from grass roots organizations, lawyers, law professors, concerned citizens, religious leaders, former inmates, and families of victims. The collection also includes a copy of the 1965 Committee for the Revision of the Penal and Criminal Legal Code Special Report on Capital Punishment and a booklet from the Capital Punishment Committee of Michigan about the New York hearings, entitled A Guide to the New York Death Penalty Hearings, 2004-2005. This booklet, which lists witness names, was written by Eugene G. Wanger, who also testified.
The National Death Penalty Archive 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.