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Capital Punishment / Edition 3

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Each volume of the Facts On File Library in a Book series is carefully designed to be the best one-volume source for research on important current problems. Written clearly and carefully so that even the most complex aspects of the issue are easily understandable, the books give the reader the essential information to begin work, plus the research tools needed to delve more deeply into the topic. Each book includes a history of the subject, biographical information on important figures in the field, a complete annotated bibliography, and a carefully designed index-everything the researcher needs to get down to work.

With recent advances in DNA testing of stored forensic evidence and ongoing efforts by volunteer advocates, more and more inmates have been found innocent, and opponents of the death penalty argue that many more may be executed for crimes they did not commit if the laws are not changed. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, 35 people on death row have been exonerated since the year 2000. The legal definition of who is eligible for the death penalty is also changing. For instance, in 2002, the Supreme Court ruled in Atkins v. Virginia that it is unconstitutional to execute people with mental retardation.

Coverage of these and other important events and policy changes make the thoroughly updated third edition of Capital Punishment an invaluable reference and research guide. Providing readers with clear and essential information needed to define, understand, and research this controversial issue, this book is perfect for anyone interested in issues related to capital punishment.

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Editorial Reviews

This no-nonsense book is unlikely to catch anyone's eye, but it is packed with information useful for students researching capital punishment. The book begins with an overview of capital punishment, including its history and an exploration of the arguments for and against its use. Henderson treats this divisive issue with an evenhanded tone that is respectful to multiple points of view while exploring how political, social, and historical factors affect public opinion about capital punishment. He examines the law of capital punishment and includes a summary of capital punishment law by state and a review of important U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Students will greatly appreciate the statistical information in an appendix that has charts and graphs on topics such as annual total executions and trends in support for capital punishment. Those wishing to do in-depth research will find a valuable starting place in the list of organizations and agencies that work on death-penalty issues and an extensive annotated bibliography. Although extremely informative and easy-to-use, this book is very dry and only dedicated (or desperate) teens are likely to have the patience to use it. The book has no illustrations (besides the charts in Appendix A), and the layout is very bland. It is admirable that Henderson remains objective and sticks to the facts in his coverage of this emotional topic, but some personal accounts (from the condemned or from victim's relatives) could give the subject a human face and enhance readers' understanding of its complexity. 2006, Facts on File, 316p.; Glossary. Index. Charts. Graphs. Biblio. Chronology. Appendix., PLB $45.. Ages 12 to Adult.
—Amy Luedtke
Library Journal
These two books are part of two distinct "Library in a Book" sets: a 28-volume general set and a ten-volume criminology set, respectively. In Prisons, senior paralegal Ferro (Sexual Misconduct and the Clergy) gives an overview of American penitentiaries, tracking the history of prisons and punishments and offering thumbnail biographies of notorious criminals and law enforcers. Extensive space is allotted to prison litigation and some monumental legal decisions that have affected the course of judicial history. Ferro furnishes voluminous statistics on U.S. prisons, three graphs and tables, a chronology, and lists of various prison-connected organizations and agencies. He devotes a chapter to researching correctional issues, and his extensive appendix includes a bibliography, a glossary, and an index. The latest edition of Capital Punishment, by writer/editor Henderson (Power of the News Media), is a fair and sensitive introduction to the issue that opens with an account of an actual execution. The historical background in Chapter 1 extends to the use of DNA, and several short sections either define aspects of capital punishment or discuss its many ramifications. Chapter 2 examines the laws regulating capital punishment and some of the major legal decisions that control it. The concluding chapters offer a guide for further research, a list of agencies and organizations, an extensive bibliography, and an appendix that excerpts major Supreme Court rulings. Nine graphs and a chronology round out this volume, a quarter of which contains new or updated material. Bottom Line Although most of the information in Prisons can be found elsewhere, the title's value is that everything is found in one concise unit. The easy-to-absorb format makes it suitable as a starting point for high school students or for scholars beginning their research. Capital Punishment, too, is an exceptional, reference resource. Together, these volumes give libraries an excellent basic collection that facilitates preliminary research on these subjects.-Frances Sandiford, formerly with Green Haven Correctional Facility Lib., Stormville, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
This second edition aims to be an encyclopedic collection of information on the topic, covering many of the debates from several perspectives, including discussions on whether more innocent people than guilty are being executed, and if the death penalty is indeed effective as a crime deterrent. Includes an extensive chronology and a guide for further research wells, such as Internet and bibliographic sources for students, researchers, attorneys, law enforcement officers and anybody else interested in the debate. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816057085
  • Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/28/2005
  • Series: Library in a Book Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 320
  • Age range: 14 - 18 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Introduction to capital punishment 3
Ch. 2 The law of capital punishment 42
Ch. 3 Chronology 106
Ch. 4 Biographical listing 132
Ch. 5 Glossary 144
Ch. 6 How to research capital punishment 153
Ch. 7 Annotated bibliography 167
Ch. 8 Organizations and agencies 234
App. A Statistics and trends for capital punishment 257
App. B Extract from U.S. Supreme Court ruling : Furman v. Georgia, 1972 268
App. C Extract from U.S. Supreme Court ruling : McCleskey v. Kemp, 1987 280
App. D Extract from U.S. Supreme Court ruling : Atkins v. Virginia, 2002 291
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