The Top Ten Death Penalty Myths: The Politics of Crime Controlby Rudolph J. Gerber
Pub. Date: 11/28/2007
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
The death penalty remains one of the most controversial issues in the United States. Its proponents claim many things in their defense of its continued application. For example, they claim that it deters crime, that death by lethal injection is painless and humane, that it is racially neutral, and that it provides closure to families of the victims. In this
The death penalty remains one of the most controversial issues in the United States. Its proponents claim many things in their defense of its continued application. For example, they claim that it deters crime, that death by lethal injection is painless and humane, that it is racially neutral, and that it provides closure to families of the victims. In this comprehensive review of the major death penalty issues, the authors systematically dismantle each one of these myths about capital punishment in a hard-hitting critique of how our social, political, and community leaders have used fear and myth (symbolic politics) to misrepresent the death penalty as a public policy issue. They successfully demonstrate how our political and community leaders have used myth and emotional appeals to misrepresent the facts about capital executions.
Successive chapters address the following topics: the notion of community bonding, the expectation of effective crime fighting, the desire for equal justice, deterrence, the hope for fidelity to the Constitution, the claim of error-free justice, closure, retribution, cost-effectiveness, and the messianic desires of some politicians. In each of these areas the authors quote from death penalty advocates making these claims and then proceed to analyze and ultimately dismember the claimed advantages of the death penalty.
- ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- New Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)
Table of Contents
Foreword Sister Helen Prejean ix
Death Penalty History and the Myth of Community Bonding 1
The Myth of the Rule of Law in Capital Cases 22
The Myth of Equal Justice 43
The Myth of Deterrence 62
The Myth of Fidelity to the Constitution 87
The Myth of Humane Execution 107
The Myth of Closure 124
The Myth of Retribution 139
The Myth of Effective Crime Control 165
The Myth of the Dedicated Public Servant 182
Selected Bibliography 227
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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"The Top Ten Death Penalty Myths" explains what most people's beliefs are on the death penalty. The author goes through each myth individually and then disproves each one. The book is easy to understand and has a good format. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand why people are for or against capital punishment.
This book explains in complete detail the most frequently used topics of capital punishment. The author thoroughly explains the reasons why people think the death penalty is okay and why they are myths. This book is very well written and explained, I highly recommend anyone to read it who wants a better understanding of capital punishment and the topics about it.