Executions in 2018: min. 690 plus 'thousands' in China

Proposals For Schools

Participation In A Tour

The German Coalition to Abolish The Death Penalty organized three tours with interesting speakers. We invited people who had been on death row innocently over years, of whom a family member is on death row or who are the relatives of a homicide victim and who nevertheless are against the death penalty. 

These speakers tell their stories in schools and elsewhere. We know from the feed-back of the schools that their students have profited from this immensely. 

Of course such a tour costs a lot of money, and we have asked the schools to share in the costs. There has been the possibility for schools which have not been able to afford this of participating in the tour via sponsors in order to have the speakers also at their school. 

Should you be interested in joining such a tour effort in future, please send us an e-mail and we will contact you when a new tour is planned.


Our members offer in some areas of Germany to come to schools and hold lectures on the subject of the death penalty. Should you be interested in this, please send us an e-mail and state in which place your school is located.

Teaching Materials


During our tour with the members of the Journey of Hope in the year 2009 a 23-minute movie was shot in Hamburg specifically for the work at schools and with youth groups in co-operation with Amnesty Hamburg and Harms Film. The movie is bilingual in English/German. 

We are glad to provide this movie to schools. We only would like to ask you to transfer a donation of 5 Euros either to an Amnesty group of your choice or to the German Coalition Against The Death Penalty as a compensation for the expenses (burning of the DVD, mailing of the movie). If the DVD is supposed to be sent to the US or other non-European Countries, we ask for a donation of 10US$ to either an Amnesty group of your choice or (for US-shipments) to the Journey of Hope. 

You can see here a short preview of the movie:

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Other Teaching Materials

One of our members has made up a detailed list with all teaching materials available regarding the subject of the death penalty. You will find it here.

The America based Death Penalty Information Center provides a fact sheet about the death penalty in the USA which is always very up to date. This fact sheet includes numbers and statistics and may be used as an additional source for information in school lessons.  

Additionally you will find here a short quiz in English regarding the subject of the death penalty in the U.S.A. It may be downloaded for pedagogical purposes and copied.

Theatre Plays

Dead Man Walking  

The DEAD MAN WALKING SCHOOL THEATRE PROJECT integrates the power of theatre arts and academic study into the national discourse on the death penalty to replace ignorance, apathy, and cynicism among young people regarding the death penalty with information, introspection, and inspiration.

Sister Helen Prejean, an internationally acclaimed human rights activist and the author of "Dead Man Walking," first conjured the idea in 1998 after reading a New Yorker magazine article that said Arthur Miller's play, "Death of a Salesman," had been performed a million times. Every day, Miller's play was performed somewhere in the world, according to the article. Sister Helen realized that if "Dead Man Walking" could be made into a play, it could also be reproduced endlessly, thereby expanding its impact.

Sister Helen called her friend, Tim Robbins, who wrote, produced and directed the film adaptation of her book, and invited him to write a stage play of her story. Tim accepted the invitation and challenge, soon crafting a powerful stage adaptation.

Instead of taking the play to Broadway, however, Tim decided to use the play as a tool to create deeper reflections on the death penalty in our nation's high schools and colleges. He required that any school producing the play must also agree to involve at least two other academic departments (law, sociology, criminal justice, etc.) to provide courses related to the death penalty and "Dead Man Walking." Art and music departments were also encouraged to develop related creative projects. Discussion groups, prison visitation, and other activities were soon added to the mix.

Since the launch of the project in the fall of 2003, more than 170 high schools and colleges across the country have produced the play, conducted academic courses on the death penalty, and brought the issue to life on their campuses through art, music, and public education and action events.

To learn more about the play project, or to register, email the National Coordinator, Steven Crimaldi at playcoordinator@dpdiscourse.org.

Annotation: The following costs incur: one-time registration fee of 300 to 1,000 US$ (depending on the size of the school) and royalty fee ($ 75 per performance, which goes directly to The Actors‘ Gang, a theater company formed in 1982 that has over 80 productions and more than 100 awards to their credit. Tim Robbins is currently the artistic director for the theatre company.)

The German Play “Gnadenstoß” 

Lukas Jan Reinhard has written a theatre play regarding the subject of the death penalty. “Gnadenstoß” (Finishing stroke) is a psycho drama and an appeal against the death penalty. 

Mr Reinhard provides the play at certain conditions for a performance. Should you be interested in the performance of his play, please contact him via E-mail.

Visit of a Correctional Facility

An important part of the work against the death penalty is informing the public about the significance of the penal system. Anyone who doesn't realize that a humane penal system – even in minimum-security prisons – is NO stay in a luxury hotel, will find it difficult to reject the death penalty for the worst crimes. 

Many correctional facilities offer guided tours through the facility to groups or school classes or have an “open day” when one can visit the prison. During these guided tours they inform the visitors about the penal system. 

Look for a correctional facility close to you or inquire whether a guided tour would be possible also in this facility and under which conditions a visit is possible.

School Projects

These are only a few examples how such a school project might look like: 

  • A working group could inform other students regarding the subject over the years.
  • An exhibition (either in the school or also a public exhibition) regarding the death penalty could be organized.
  • A school class could – together with its teachers – write to a captive on death row and thus learn more about life there on the one hand and bring a bit more life to this prisoner in his or her life. If you would like to, then we will give you the addresses of prisoners who would be prepared to co-operate on such a project.

Should you have a certain project in mind and have any questions regarding its realization or should you require assistance, then we are glad to assist you according to our possibilities.

Term Papers, Presentations, etc.

Choose the subject of the death penalty for your students for term papers, presentations or other work. 

More and more Germans (unfortunately) accept more severe sentences, also in Germany the awareness training is incredibly important.

Petitions save lives

"I know you can make a difference because it was people like you who saved Paula Cooper's life, and I thank you very much." (Bill Pelke)  

With your signature you as well can help to save people’s lives. You’ll find some up-to-date petitions here.      


We’re happy to answer to your questions concerning the death penalty.

We’ve already collected answers to the most common questions in our FAQs. In case you should not find the answer to your specific question here, we ask you to send us an e-mail.