Resources for Students
Bring a speaker to your school or community
- There are many activists, lawyers, former inmates, and experts located in your area.
Set up an information table
Quick and easy...simply gather information--posters, articles,
statistics, etc.--and set up a table at your school during a meal or
Organize a poster campaign
- Create posters or fliers with death penalty statistics and information. Display them around your school or community!
- Be sure to note any relevant upcoming events such as elections or group meetings.
Get petitions signed
- Get your peers and organization to sign local moratorium and anti-death penalty petitions.
Write an article
Write an article for your school or community newspaper or
newsletter. You might explain your own position, provide facts, or
discuss current issues or legislation.
- Know your audience: poll students on their feelings about the death penalty. Report your findings!
- Be sure to include additional source information so that readers can check your facts and learn more about your topic.
- You may also write a letter to the editor of your local paper. Be
sure to check on individual newspapers' requirements, or write to major
California papers here.
Host a debate
- Find students and teachers on both sides of the issue and host a school or community debate.
Host a round table discussion
Less formal than a debate, and more inclusive. Designate one or a few
moderators, think up some leading questions, and open the topic up for
Make it your assignment topic
Need to write a paper, give a speech, or create a presentation on an
issue of social justice, ethics, civil liberties, a related subject, or
on a topic of your own choosing? There's tons of scholarly information
on the death penalty!
Visit our facts page or contact us for supplementary resources.
Host or contribute to a teach-in/freestyle battle/open-mic/poetry slam
These events can be used to discuss different aspects of the death
penalty (i.e. race, innocence, juveniles, etc.) as well as the subject
- Create your own piece to share at an open-mic-style event.
Show a movie
Follow the film screening with discussion, asking questions about the
movie and the broader picture. How do themes from the movie reflect and
relate to reality?
- Most of these movies are available at any video store, or call us and
we will lend you a copy. You may also purchase these and other movies,
books, and music.
Contact your elected officials
- Stand up and be heard! Contact your local elected officials and voice your opposition to the death penalty.
Already agree with their position? Thank them; let them know they have your support!
Start a club or organization
- Begin a group for interested students, staff, faculty, or community members.
- With your group, choose and sponsor events from this list or come up with your own ideas and let us know about them!
Many websites contain pages and resources just for students. Explore
them yourself, show them to friends, link to them in your profile!
- Click here for Michigan State University and the Death Penalty Information Center's interactive high school curriculum.
- Click here to comment on Amnesty International's death penalty blog.
- Click here
to visit and learn about The American Civil Liberties Union's
grassroots education and mobilization program against the death
penalty. Includes contact information for further assistance.
Host a "Death Penalty Awareness Week"
- Combine some or all of these programs into one week and host an Awareness Week on your campus or in your community.
Not ready to organize a whole week? Try an Awareness Day.
Attend a rally or event
- There are rallies, group meetings, and public speaking events all over the country. View the calendar to find an event in your area!
Volunteer for Death Penalty Focus
Get the facts! Watch these short videos on the death penalty
- We're always looking for student interns. Click here to fill out an application or learn more about this exciting opportunity.
This clip features Glen McGinnis who
was executed for a crime he committed
when he was 17 years old. ("Juvenile
Offenders in Their Own Words", CNN
& Time, January 9, 2000)
Hear the stories of innocent
men and women that were wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death.
("Burden of Innocence", PBS
Frontline, 53 mins.) The Story can be watched in seven different segments.
Other Videos from DPF's YouTube Channel
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