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Topic Descriptions

Aggravating Factors

Includes enactments that add or remove statutorily enumerated aggravating factors that make a case eligible for prosecution as a capital offense.

Ballot Measures, Resolutions and Studies

Includes any ballot measures, legislative resolutions or enactments requiring a study of any kind.

Execution Methods and Procedures

Includes enactments that alter statutorily authorized methods of execution or related procedures, including provisions addressing confidentiality or acquiring lethal substances.

Intellectual Disability and Mental Illness

Includes enactments that make defendants, who meet certain criteria, ineligible for prosecution for a capital offense or execution. Also includes mitigation, competency, expert witnesses or other consideration of a defendant’s mental health.


Includes enactments otherwise related to capital punishment that are not included in other topics, such as appropriations for compensation of wrongly convicted individuals, indigent defense, conditions of confinement specific to individuals on death row, or capital punishment specific conviction integrity units.

Repeal or Reinstate

Includes enactments abolishing or reestablishing capital punishment.

Trial and Appellate Procedure

Includes enactments that address trial or appellate procedures such as jury requirements, judicial override, victim notification, timing and evidence preservation.

Related Resources

State Lawmakers Wade Into Third-Party Litigation Funding

In a world where it seems that just about everything is for sale these days, is it any wonder that there’s a burgeoning market for investment in lawsuits? The practice, known as “third-party litigation funding” is a growing concern for insurers and other businesses, as well as state lawmakers.

State Legislatures News

Juvenile Life Without Parole

The Supreme Court in 2012 abolished mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole in Miller v. Alabama. 28 states had mandatory juvenile life without parole sentences that were in conflict with the Supreme Court ruling.
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