Congressional Research Service. March 18, 2013.
This report focuses on mass shootings and selected implications they have for federal policy in the areas of public health and safety. While such crimes most directly impact particular citizens in very specific communities, addressing these violent episodes involves officials at all levels of government and professionals from numerous disciplines.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43004.pdf [PDF format, 40 pages]
Congressional Research Service. January 22, 2013.
Since the early 1980s, there has been a historically unprecedented increase in the federal prison population. Some of the growth is attributable to changes in federal criminal justice policy during the previous three decades. An issue before Congress is whether policymakers consider the rate of growth in the federal prison population sustainable, and if not, what changes could be made to federal criminal justice policy to reduce the prison population while maintaining public safety. The report explores the issues related to the growing federal prison population.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42937.pdf [PDF format, 60 pages].
Death Penalty Information Center. December 2012.
The number of new death sentences in 2012 was the second lowest since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. Seventy-seven people were sentenced to death, with many key states such as North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina, and Indiana having no death sentences. The only year with fewer death sentences was 2011, when the total surprisingly dropped 27% from the previous year. The number of sentences this year was 75% lower than the high of 315 death sentences in 1996.
http://deathpenaltyinfo.org/documents/2012YearEnd.pdf [PDF format, 8 pages].
National Registry of Exonerations. University of Michigan Law School and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law. May 2012.
This report is about 873 exonerations in the United States, from January 1989 through February 2012. “Exoneration” is a legal concept. It means that a defendant who was convicted of a crime was later relieved of all legal consequences of that conviction through a decision by a prosecutor, a governor or a court, after new evidence of his or her innocence was discovered. [Note: contains copyrighted materails].
http://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Documents/exonerations_us_1989_2012_full_report.pdf [PDF Format, 108 pages].