ntd_fb_imageThe Frontier is teaming up with the The Marshall Project for a unique, new reporting effort focusing on the nation’s upcoming executions.

The Next to Die is an interactive database that features a detailed, up-to-date schedule of coming executions.

It is produced through a partnership between The Marshall Project, The Frontier, AL.com, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Houston Chronicle and Tampa Bay Times.

The project aims to bring attention and accountability to upcoming executions throughout the United States.

As impartial news organizations, these journalistic partners do not take a stance on the morality of capital punishment, but we do see a need for better reporting on a punishment that so divides Americans, writes Gabriel Dance, managing editor for The Marshall Project. 

The Marshall Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization covering America’s criminal justice system.

The Frontier is reporting on executions in Oklahoma and Missouri for the project. The next scheduled execution is for Richard Glossip.

Editor in Chief Ziva Branstetter and Creative Director Cary Aspinwall have extensive experience reporting on executions and criminal justice in Oklahoma.

Their reporting for the Tulsa World newspaper on the botched 2014 execution of inmate Clayton Lockett and flaws in Oklahoma’s execution process earned the duo the honor of being named finalists for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in local reporting

With the assistance of Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Branstetter and the World sued Gov. Mary Fallin for failing to comply with the Oklahoma Open Records Act with regard to documents and emails related to the Lockett execution.

That lawsuit advanced in Oklahoma County District Court when the state Supreme Court in June unanimously rejected the governor’s argument that discovery and depositions in the lawsuit should be stayed. That decision was a victory for advocates of transparency across the stateallowing the lawsuit to move forward with discovery and depositions.

“One of our chief missions at The Frontier is to hold public officials accountable,” said Robert Lorton III, publisher of The Frontier. “Executions represent an extraordinary power of our state government, and that is why we believe in the utmost transparency for the process.”

Branstetter said she believes the lawsuit will hold the state accountable for repeatedly ignoring the requirements of the Open Records Act.

“The state Open Records Act requires ‘prompt and reasonable access’ to the government’s records and waiting for weeks and months — 17 months in our case — is not reasonable,” Branstetter said. “These are the people’s records and the state should follow the law, just like it expects the citizens of Oklahoma to do.”

The Marshall Project’s goal in tracking upcoming executions with its national partners is to keep citizens informed about the process.

One of the features of the Next to Die project is a widget that can be easily embedded in many websites, for national- and state-level information.

The national view:

Oklahoma’s upcoming executions: