A Life for a Life: The American Debate Over the Death Penalty

Overview

Providing a new look at the intense public debate surrounding the death penalty in the United States, this book explores the various trends in public opinion that influence crime prevention efforts, create public policy, and reform criminal law. It examines eight core issues about the use of execution: cruel and unusual punishment, discrimination, deterrence, due process, culpability, scripture, innocence, and justice. It provides a brief history of capital punishment in the United States from the earliest known ...

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Overview

Providing a new look at the intense public debate surrounding the death penalty in the United States, this book explores the various trends in public opinion that influence crime prevention efforts, create public policy, and reform criminal law. It examines eight core issues about the use of execution: cruel and unusual punishment, discrimination, deterrence, due process, culpability, scripture, innocence, and justice. It provides a brief history of capital punishment in the United States from the earliest known execution at the Jamestown Colony in 1608 to executions occurring as recently as 2008. Additional topics include the regionalization of capital punishment sentences, the spiritual and scriptural debate over the death penalty, the role of DNA evidence in modern execution sentences, and the ongoing effects of Furman v. Georgia, McClesky v. Kemp, Baze v. Rees, and other related court rulings.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786433681
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/6/2009
  • Pages: 215
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Psychologist Michael Dow Burkhead has worked in varying capacities with criminal offenders for 25 years. He is the author of a number of articles regarding the treatment of mentally ill prisoners and the death penalty. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina.

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Table of Contents

1 Framing the debate

2 The question of cruel and unusual punishment

3 The question of discrimination

4 The question of due process

5 The question of deterrence

6 The question of culpability

7 The question of scripture

8 The question of innocence

9 The question of justice

10 The current situation

App. A The Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment (2008)

App. B The California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice (2008)

App. C The New Jersey Death Penalty Study Commission (2007)

App. D The Tennessee Death Penalty Assessment (2007)

Chapter notes

Bibliography

Index

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