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Capital Punishment On Trial

Author: David M. Oshinsky
Publisher: Univ Pr of Kansas
ISBN:
Size: 74.75 MB
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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.

The Social History Of Crime And Punishment In America

Author: Wilbur R. Miller
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISBN: 1483305937
Size: 71.24 MB
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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.

The Death Penalty In America

Author: Hugo Adam Bedau
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190284080
Size: 59.97 MB
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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.

Distorting The Law

Author: William Haltom
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226314693
Size: 12.28 MB
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In recent years, stories of reckless lawyers and greedy citizens have given the legal system, and victims in general, a bad name. Many Americans have come to believe that we live in the land of the litigious, where frivolous lawsuits and absurdly high settlements reign. Scholars have argued for years that this common view of the depraved ruin of our civil legal system is a myth, but their research and statistics rarely make the news. William Haltom and Michael McCann here persuasively show how popularized distorted understandings of tort litigation (or tort tales) have been perpetuated by the mass media and reform proponents. Distorting the Law lays bare how media coverage has sensationalized lawsuits and sympathetically portrayed corporate interests, supporting big business and reinforcing negative stereotypes of law practices. Based on extensive interviews, nearly two decades of newspaper coverage, and in-depth studies of the McDonald's coffee case and tobacco litigation, Distorting the Law offers a compelling analysis of the presumed litigation crisis, the campaign for tort law reform, and the crucial role the media play in this process.

Religion And The Death Penalty

Author: Erik Owens
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
ISBN: 9780802821720
Size: 47.42 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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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

When The State Kills

Author: Austin Sarat
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691102610
Size: 25.88 MB
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Capital punishment is put on trial in this lucid, well-researched analysis of this contentious issue that takes readers on a tour of the entire process, from the capital trial to the death chamber.

Out Of Range

Author: Mark V. Tushnet
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199813711
Size: 77.79 MB
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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.

Peculiar Institution

Author: David Garland
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674058488
Size: 17.87 MB
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Why does the United States, alone among Western democracies, still have the death penalty? It's not a new question, but David Garland provides fresh answers from a multilayered analysis...The title hints at the most provocative part of Garland's answer. In American history, the "peculiar institution" is slavery. Anyone who thinks its vestiges were wiped out by the Emancipation Proclamation or civil rights laws should read this book and think again.

A Conspiracy So Immense

Author: David M. Oshinsky
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 019515424X
Size: 20.49 MB
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With a storyteller's eye for the dramatic, presentation of fact, and insightful interpretation of human complexity, Oshinsky uncovers the layers of myth to reveal the true Joe McCarthy and the forces that launched him to prominence and decline.