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Cover

The Death Penalty

America's Experience with Capital Punishment

Raymond Paternoster, Robert Brame, and Sarah Bacon

Publication Date - July 2007

ISBN: 9780195332421

362 pages
Paperback

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $70.95

"All salient issues and elements of the death penalty debate are thoroughly and carefully presented."--John Cochran, University of South Florida

Description

This book addresses one of the most controversial issues in the criminal justice system today--the death penalty. Paternoster et al. present a balanced perspective that focuses on both the arguments for and against capital punishment. Coverage draws on legal, historical, philosophical, economic, sociological, and religious points of view.

Topics include:

* The history of the death penalty in the United States, from the 1600s to today
* The changing nature of the death penalty--changes in the types of crimes that warranted the penalty, the procedures employed to put capital offenders on trial, and the methods used to impose death
* Constitutional/legal issues surrounding the death penalty
* The influence of race on the administration of the death penalty, both in the past and in the present
* Justifications for and against the death penalty (retribution, cost, public safety, and religious arguments)
* Questions about the execution of innocents, exonerated capital offenders, and flaws in the operation of the death penalty
* Public opinion and the death penalty
* The death penalty and international law and practice
* The future of the death penalty in America

About the Author(s)

Raymond Paternoster is Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice and Director of the Office of Academic Computing Services at the University of Maryland.

Robert Brame is Associate Professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of South Carolina.

Sarah Bacon is Visiting Assistant Professor in the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University.

Reviews

"All salient issues and elements of the death penalty debate are thoroughly and carefully presented. The book is comprehensive, timely, engaging, accessible, accurate, and well written."--John Cochran, University of South Florida

Table of Contents

    Each chapter begins with an Introduction and ends with a Chapter Summary, Discussion Questions, and Further Reading.
    Part I: The Enduring Legacy of Capital Punishment in the United States
    Chapter 1. Capital Punishment in the Early Period: 1608-1929
    Capital Crimes and Capital Statutes in the Early Period
    Characteristics of Executions in the Early Period
    Changes in the Practice of the Death Penalty in the Early Period
    Methods of Execution in the Early Period
    Location of the Death Penalty in the Early Period
    Chapter 2. Capital Punishment in the Pre-Modern Period: 1930-1967
    Capital Crimes and Capital Statutes During the Premodern Period
    Characteristics of Executions in the Premodern Period
    Methods of Execution During the Premodern Period
    Location of the Death Penalty in the Premodern Period
    Chapter 3. Capital Punishment in the Modern Period: 1977-Present
    Capital Crimes and Capital Statutes During the Modern Period
    Characteristics of Executions in the Modern Period
    Methods of Execution During the Modern Period
    Location of the Death Penalty in the Modern Period
    Changes in the Practice of the Death Penalty in the Modern Period
    The Federal and Military Death Penalty
    Part II: Legal History, Constitutional Requirements, and Common Justifications for Capital Punishment in the United States
    Chapter 4. A Brief Legal History of Capital Punishment in the United States
    Early Constitutional Challenges to the Method of Imposing Death
    Constitutional Theories About What the Eighth Amendment Prohibits
    The Death Penalty's Decline in Popularity and Challenges to Its Constitutionality
    The Death Penalty is not Procedurally Flawed--The Case of McGautha v. California
    The Death Penalty as Currently Administered is so Procedurally Flawed That It Constitutes Cruel and Unusual Punishment--The Case of Furman v. Georgia
    Chapter 5. Constitutional Requirements for Capital Punishment in the United States
    The Response to Furman: Mandatory and Guided Discretion Capital Statutes
    The Execution of Special Groups--The Young, The Retarded and the Mentally Ill
    Chapter 6. Common Justifications for the Death Penalty
    Retribution: The Moral Argument for the Death Penalty
    Cost: The Financial Argument for the Death Penalty
    Incapacitation: One of the Public Safety Arguments for the Death Penalty
    General Deterrence: The Other Public Safety Argument for the Death Penalty
    Religious Positions for and Against the Death Penalty
    Part III: The Administration of the Death Penalty: Issues of Race and Human Fallibility
    Chapter 7. Race, the Law, and Punishment
    The Peculiar Institution
    Race and Legal Institutions After the Civil War
    Chapter 8. Race and Capital Punishment
    Race and Capital Punishment: 1930-1967
    Evidence of Racially Disparate Treatment in the Courts
    Race and Capital Punishment: 1997-Present
    Post-Furman Evidence of Racial Discrimination in Capital Sentencing Before the Courts--McCleskey v. Kemp
    Chapter 9. Problems in Administering the Death Penalty
    The Possibly Innocent
    The Exonerated
    A Broken System
    Part IV: What's to Come of the Death Penalty
    Chapter 10. Capital Punishment in America's Future
    Public Support for the Death Penalty in the United States
    The Death Penalty in Other Countries
    Predictions About the Future of the Death Penalty in America
    What About Life Without the Possibility of Parole?

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