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"While public support in the US for the death penalty has generally been in decline in recent years, there is also a significant measure of ambivalence on this issue. Kudlac focuses on the media coverage of executions as one prism through which to explore this public ambivalence. Most executions receive little media coverage, but a select few are highly publicized. Kudlac examines in some depth a series of such cases, which he finds fall into the categories of serial killers (e.g., Ted Bundy), terrorists (e.g., Timothy McVeigh), and protest cases (e.g., Karla Faith Tucker). He identifies the combination of attributes involved that elevate the level of media attention in such cases, and how public perceptions are distorted by selective and sensationalistic media coverage. Kudlac also addresses the role of DNA evidence and recent Supreme Court decisions on executing mentally retarded and youthful (under 18) offenders as contributing to public unease with the death penalty. Altogether, this is a well-written, well-organized examination of one significant dimension of the enduring death penalty controversy. Methodological appendix. Recommended. Most levels/libraries."