Birmingham Post-Herald examines "whether the state of Alabama is doing enough to ensure that only the guilty are executed." The chance of facing the death penalty has dramatically increased if the victim is white rather than black, the story reveals. The series depicts cases when flimsy evidence sent suspects on death row, or when defense lawyers failed to do their job. Another finding is that Tallageda County, located about an hour's drive east of Birmingham, "has more of its residents on death row than does the entire state of New York." The Post-Herald discovers that decisions of life and death are sometimes political, that the state avoids using DNA tests that could exonerate many inmates, and that the state continues to execute retarded inmates.