Author: David M. Oshinsky
Publisher: Univ Pr of Kansas
Release Date: 2010-04-14
In his first book since the Pulitzer Prize--winning Polio: An American Story, renowned historian David Oshinsky takes a new and closer look at the Supreme Court's controversial and much-debated stances on capital punishment--in the landmark case of Furman v. Georgia. Career criminal William Furman shot and killed a homeowner during a 1967 burglary in Savannah, Georgia. Because it was a "black-on-white" crime in the racially troubled South, it also was an open-and-shut case. The trial took less than a day, and the nearly all-white jury rendered a death sentence. Aided by the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund, Furman's African-American attorney, Bobby Mayfield, doggedly appealed the verdict all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which in 1972 overturned Furman's sentence by a narrow 5--4 vote, ruling that Georgia's capital punishment statute, and by implication all other state death-penalty laws, was so arbitrary and capricious as to violate the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against "cruel and unusual punishment." Furman effectively, if temporarily, halted capital punishment in the United States. Every death row inmate across the nation was resentenced to life in prison. The decision, however, did not rule the death penalty per se to be unconstitutional; rather, it struck down the laws that currently governed its application, leaving the states free to devise new ones that the Court might find acceptable. And this is exactly what happened. In the coming years, the Supreme Court would uphold an avalanche of state legislation endorsing the death penalty. Capital punishment would return stronger than ever, with many more defendants sentenced to death and eventually executed. Oshinsky demonstrates the troubling roles played by race and class and region in capital punishment. And he concludes by considering the most recent Supreme Court death-penalty cases involving minors and the mentally ill, as well as the impact of international opinion. Compact and engaging, Oshinsky's masterful study reflects a gift for empathy, an eye for the telling anecdote and portrait, and a talent for clarifying the complex and often confusing legal issues surrounding capital punishment.
Author: Erik Owens
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
Release Date: 2004-08-06
Foreword by Jean Bethke Elshtain This important book is sure to foster informed public discussion about the death penalty by deepening readers' understanding of how religious beliefs and perspectives shape thiscontentious issue. Featuring a fair, balanced appraisal of its topic, Religion and the Death Penalty brings thoughtful religious reflection to bear on current challenges facing thecapital justice system. One look at the list of contributors reveals the significance of this book. Here are recognized leaders from the academy, government, and public life who also represent a wide range offaith commitments, including Jewish, Christian, and Muslim. Like many people of faith and goodwill, the authors disagree with one another, variously supporting retention, reform, orabolition of capital punishment. As a result, the book presents the most comprehensive and well-rounded religiously oriented discussion of the death penalty available. Contributors: Khaled Abou El Fadl Victor Anderson Jeanne Bishop J. Budziszewski John D. Carlson Mario M. Cuomo E. J. Dionne Jr. Avery Cardinal Dulles, S. J. Eric P. Elshtain Richard W. Garnett Stanley Hauerwas Frank Keating Gilbert Meilaender David Novak Erik C. Owens George H. Ryan Antonin Scalia Paul Simon Glen H. Stassen Michael L. Westmoreland-White Beth Wilkinson
Author: Robert Justin Goldstein
Publisher: Univ Pr of Kansas
Release Date: 2000
When Gregory Lee Johnson burned an American flag as part of a political protest, he was convicted for flag desecration under Texas law. But the Supreme Court, by a contentious 5 to margin, overturned that conviction, claiming that Johnson's action constituted symbolic -- and thus protected -- speech. Heated debate continues to swirl around that controversial decision, both hailed as a victory for free speech advocates and reviled as an abomination that erodes the patriotic foundations of American democracy. Such passionate yet contradictory views are at the heart of this landmark case. Book jacket.
Author: Wilbur R. Miller
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Release Date: 2012-07-20
Several encyclopedias overview the contemporary system of criminal justice in America, but full understanding of current social problems and contemporary strategies to deal with them can come only with clear appreciation of the historical underpinnings of those problems. Thus, this five-volume work surveys the history and philosophy of crime, punishment, and criminal justice institutions in America from colonial times to the present. It covers the whole of the criminal justice system, from crimes, law enforcement and policing, to courts, corrections and human services. Among other things, this encyclopedia: explicates philosophical foundations underpinning our system of justice; charts changing patterns in criminal activity and subsequent effects on legal responses; identifies major periods in the development of our system of criminal justice; and explores in the first four volumes - supplemented by a fifth volume containing annotated primary documents - evolving debates and conflicts on how best to address issues of crime and punishment. Its signed entries in the first four volumes--supplemented by a fifth volume containing annotated primary documents--provide the historical context for students to better understand contemporary criminological debates and the contemporary shape of the U.S. system of law and justice.
Author: Mark V. Tushnet
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2007-09-05
Few constitutional disputes maintain as powerful a grip on the public mind as the battle over the Second Amendment. The National Rifle Association and gun-control groups struggle unceasingly over a piece of the political landscape that no candidate for the presidency--and few for Congress--can afford to ignore. But who's right? Will it ever be possible to settle the argument? In Out of Range, one of the nation's leading legal scholars takes a calm, objective look at this bitter debate. Mark V. Tushnet brings to this book a deep expertise in the Constitution, the Supreme Court, and the role of the law in American life. He breaks down the different positions on the Second Amendment, showing that it is a mistake to stereotype them. Tushnet's exploration is honest and nuanced; he finds the constitutional arguments finely balanced, which is one reason the debate has raged for so long. Along the way, he examines various experiments in public policy, from both sides, and finds little clear evidence for the practical effectiveness of any approach to gun safety and prosecution. Of course, he notes, most advocates of the right to keep and bear arms agree that it should be subject to reasonable regulation. Ultimately, Tushnet argues, our view of the Second Amendment reflects our sense of ourselves as a people. The answer to the debate will not be found in any holy writ, but in our values and our vision of the nation. This compact, incisive examination offers an honest and thoughtful guide to both sides of the argument, pointing the way to solutions that could calm, if not settle, this bitter dispute.
Author: Austin Sarat
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2018-06-05
Is capital punishment just? Does it deter people from murder? What is the risk that we will execute innocent people? These are the usual questions at the heart of the increasingly heated debate about capital punishment in America. In this bold and impassioned book, Austin Sarat seeks to change the terms of that debate. Capital punishment must be stopped, Sarat argues, because it undermines our democratic society. Sarat unflinchingly exposes us to the realities of state killing. He examines its foundations in ideas about revenge and retribution. He takes us inside the courtroom of a capital trial, interviews jurors and lawyers who make decisions about life and death, and assesses the arguments swirling around Timothy McVeigh and his trial for the bombing in Oklahoma City. Aided by a series of unsettling color photographs, he traces Americans' evolving quest for new methods of execution, and explores the place of capital punishment in popular culture by examining such films as Dead Man Walking, The Last Dance, and The Green Mile. Sarat argues that state executions, once used by monarchs as symbolic displays of power, gained acceptance among Americans as a sign of the people's sovereignty. Yet today when the state kills, it does so in a bureaucratic procedure hidden from view and for which no one in particular takes responsibility. He uncovers the forces that sustain America's killing culture, including overheated political rhetoric, racial prejudice, and the desire for a world without moral ambiguity. Capital punishment, Sarat shows, ultimately leaves Americans more divided, hostile, indifferent to life's complexities, and much further from solving the nation's ills. In short, it leaves us with an impoverished democracy. The book's powerful and sobering conclusions point to a new abolitionist politics, in which capital punishment should be banned not only on ethical grounds but also for what it does to Americans and what we cherish.
Author: Charles R. Epp
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2014-04-04
In sheer numbers, no form of government control comes close to the police stop. Each year, twelve percent of drivers in the United States are stopped by the police, and the figure is almost double among racial minorities. Police stops are among the most recognizable and frequently criticized incidences of racial profiling, but, while numerous studies have shown that minorities are pulled over at higher rates, none have examined how police stops have come to be both encouraged and institutionalized. Pulled Over deftly traces the strange history of the investigatory police stop, from its discredited beginning as “aggressive patrolling” to its current status as accepted institutional practice. Drawing on the richest study of police stops to date, the authors show that who is stopped and how they are treated convey powerful messages about citizenship and racial disparity in the United States. For African Americans, for instance, the experience of investigatory stops erodes the perceived legitimacy of police stops and of the police generally, leading to decreased trust in the police and less willingness to solicit police assistance or to self-censor in terms of clothing or where they drive. This holds true even when police are courteous and respectful throughout the encounters and follow seemingly colorblind institutional protocols. With a growing push in recent years to use local police in immigration efforts, Hispanics stand poised to share African Americans’ long experience of investigative stops. In a country that celebrates democracy and racial equality, investigatory stops have a profound and deleterious effect on African American and other minority communities that merits serious reconsideration. Pulled Over offers practical recommendations on how reforms can protect the rights of citizens and still effectively combat crime.
Author: Barry Latzer
Release Date: 2010-10-27
Death Penalty Cases presents significant verbatim excerpts of death-penalty decisions from the United States Supreme Court. The first chapter introduces the topics discussed throughout the book. It also includes a detailed history of the death penalty in the United States. After this introduction, the remaining eighteen chapters are divided into five parts: Foundational Cases, Death-Eligible Crimes and Persons, The Death Penalty Trial, Post-Conviction Review, and Execution Issues. The first part, consisting of five chapters, talks about the mandatory death penalty, mitigating evidence and racial bias. The next part covers death-eligible crimes, such as rape and other crimes that do not involve homicide and murder. The middle part presents the trial process, from choosing the appropriate decision-makers through the sentencing decision. Followed by this is a chapter focusing on the aftermath of conviction, such as claims of innocence. The book concludes by exploring issues related to execution, such as not executing insane convicts. Finally, execution methods are presented. Provides the most recent case material--no need to supplement Topical organization of cases provides a more logical organization for structuring a course Co-authors with different perspectives on the death penalty assures complete impartiality of the material Provides the necessary historical background, a clear explanation of the current capital case process, and an impartial description of the controversies surrounding the death penalty Provides the latest statistics relevant to discussions on the death penalty Clearly explains the different ways in which the states process death penalty cases, with excerpts of the most relevant statutes
Author: Frank R. Baumgartner
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2008-01-07
Genre: Political Science
Since 1996, death sentences in America have declined by more than 60 percent, reversing a generation-long trend toward greater acceptance of capital punishment. In theory, most Americans continue to support the death penalty. But it is no longer seen as a theoretical matter. Prosecutors, judges, and juries across the country have moved in large numbers to give much greater credence to the possibility of mistakes - mistakes that in this arena are potentially fatal. The discovery of innocence, documented in this book through painstaking analyses of media coverage and with newly developed methods, has led to historic shifts in public opinion and to a sharp decline in use of the death penalty by juries across the country. A social cascade, starting with legal clinics and innocence projects, has snowballed into a national phenomenon that may spell the end of the death penalty in America.
Author: Hugo Adam Bedau
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 1998-05-28
Genre: Social Science
InThe Death Penalty in America: Current Controversies, Hugo Adam Bedau, one of our preeminent scholars on the subject,provides a comprehensive sourcebook on the death penalty, making the process of informed consideration not only possible but fascinating as well. No mere revision of the third edition of The Death Penalty in America--which the New York Times praised as "the most complete, well-edited and comprehensive collection of readings on the pros and cons of the death penalty"--this volume brings together an entirely new selection of 40 essays and includes updated statistical and research data, recent Supreme Court decisions, and the best current contributions to the debate over capital punishment. From the status of the death penalty worldwide to current attitudes of Americans toward convicted killers, from legal arguments challenging the constitutionality of the death penalty to moral arguments enlisting the New Testament in support of it, from controversies over the role of race and class in the judicial system to proposals to televise executions, Bedau gathers readings that explore all the most compelling aspects of this most compelling issue.
Author: Carol S. Steiker
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 2016-11-07
Refusing to eradicate the death penalty, the U.S. has attempted to reform and rationalize capital punishment through federal constitutional law. While execution chambers remain active in several states, Carol Steiker and Jordan Steiker argue that the fate of the American death penalty is likely to be sealed by this failed judicial experiment.