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America's Experiment With Capital Punishment: Reflections on the Past, Present, and Future of the Ultimate Penal Sanction

NCJ Number
J R Acker, R M Bohm, C S Lanier
Date Published
595 pages
The effectiveness of the death penalty in deterring crime is explored from the perspectives of a cross-section of disciplines, including law, psychology, sociology, philosophy, and criminal justice.
Contributors to the book analyze issues of vital importance to capital punishment and offer varied perspectives on the past, present, and future of the death penalty. In the process, contributors scrutinize legal, philosophical, and empirical foundations of capital punishment. The first four book chapters deal with public opinion, law, and politics and capital punishment. The next five chapters examine a series of issues related to justice and utility dimensions of capital punishment. Subsequent chapters cover the administration of capital punishment in the United States. Book contributors specifically consider judicial developments in capital punishment law, the deterrent value of capital punishment, dangerousness and incapacitation, the execution of women and children and mentally retarded individuals, sentencing dynamics in capital cases, and race discrimination and capital punishment. They also evaluate economic costs of capital punishment, the role of health and mental health professionals in the capital punishment process, the impact of the death penalty on families of homicide victims, and the evolving role of clemency in capital cases. References, tables, and figures