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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 179250 Find in a Library
Title: Deathquest: An Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Capital Punishment in the United States
Author(s): Robert M. Bohm
Date Published: 1999
Page Count: 255
Sponsoring Agency: Anderson Publishing Co
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Publication Number: ISBN 0-87084-212-9
Sale Source: Anderson Publishing Co
Publicity Director
2035 Reading Road
Cincinnati, OH 45202
United States of America
Type: Overview Text
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This volume examines the history and current use of capital punishment, the United States Supreme Court decisions that have shaped death penalty jurisprudence, arguments and counterarguments used by proponents and opponents of capital punishment, and public attitudes toward the death penalty.
Abstract: The first four chapters discuss death penalty laws and the use of capital punishment in colonial times, law reforms and judicial through 1972, and the role of the Supreme Court in the practice of capital punishment. They also cover the death penalty systems of the Federal Government and the military, execution methods used in the United States, and the legal history of the concept of cruel and unusual punishment. The next two chapters address the issue of general deterrence, incapacitation, and the costs of capital punishment. The seventh chapter explores miscarriages of justice in capital cases, including wrongful arrests, wrongful charges or indictments, wrongful convictions, wrongful sentences, and wrongful executions, as well as the reasons for those miscarriages of justice. The eighth chapter addresses the Supreme Court's finding that pre-modern laws did not prevent capital punishment from being imposed arbitrarily and in a discriminatory fashion and considers whether the procedural reforms implemented since Furman v. Georgia was decided in 1972 have eliminated these problems. The ninth chapter examines retribution and religion in relation to capital punishment, including the effects of capital punishment on the families of murder victims and death row and executed inmates. The final chapter describes the history of public attitudes toward capital punishment, current research on public opinion, and the future of public opinion and the effect it may have on the practice of capital punishment in the United States. Chapter discussion questions and notes, index, and approximately 300 references
Main Term(s): Court procedures
Index Term(s): Abolishment of capital punishment; Capital punishment; Corrections policies; Criminal codes; Cruel and unusual punishment; Death row inmates; Deterrence; Discrimination; Public Opinion of Corrections; Sentencing disparity; Sentencing factors; US Supreme Court decisions; Wrongful conviction
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