Death Penalty Project

Cornell Death Penalty Project Defense Resources

The Cornell Death Penalty Project has developed a number of resources to provide valuable information and assistance to attorneys representing death-sentenced inmates across the country.

First, and most significant is the Federal Habeas Corpus Update, an annual publication provided to over a thousand attorneys nationwide to keep them abreast of developments in habeas corpus law. The Update is prepared by Professor Blume with several other individuals in his capacity as federal habeas assistance counsel, a position he holds under the auspices of the Administrative Offices of the United States Courts. The Update summarizes recent federal court opinions interpreting the habeas corpus provisions of the critically important Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996.

Second, Blume was retained by the American Bar Association's Death Penalty Representation Project to co-author, with Mark Olive, the National Post-conviction Investigation Manual. It was completed in the fall of 2001.

Third, in conjunction with Gary Moore and Professor Eric Freedman of the Hofstra University School of Law, the Project and members of the law school's information technology department continue to sponsor an on-line mailing list that has proven an invaluable source of information and avenue of communication for the list’s members, most of whom are actively involved in the litigation of capital cases throughout the country.

The Cornell Death Penalty Project is also a participant in the nationwide Capital Jury Project (CJP). The CJP is a National Science Foundation-funded, multi-state research effort designed to better understand the dynamics of juror decision making in capital cases. The CJP has conducted over a thousand interviews with jurors who sat on capital trials in fourteen different states. Analyses of the data collected during these interviews began appearing as early as 1993.