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NCJ Number: 212387 Find in a Library
Title: Path Dependence, Culture and State-Level Execution Policy: A Reply to David Garland
Journal: Punishment & Society  Volume:7  Issue:4  Dated:October 2005  Pages:377-384
Author(s): Franklin E. Zimring
Date Published: October 2005
Page Count: 8
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: The author of this article (Franklin E. Zimring) answers David Garland's critique (See NCJ-212386) of his published work that links the persistence of capital punishment and its implementation in America to distinctively American "vigilante values."
Abstract: Garland criticizes Zimring for tracing America's embrace of capital punishment to persistent cultural "vigilante values." Garland, on the other hand, argues that capital punishment in America is less related to unchanging cultural values than to institutionalized legal traditions and political influences. Zimring replies that he does not indicate in his publications that America has a common and persistent cultural tradition that fuels capital punishment, but rather a variable commitment to capital punishment linked to empirical data on the historical tradition and frequency of lynchings in a jurisdiction or region. Such "vigilante values," argues Zimring, apparently translate into support for the government to continue the tradition of killing those who break certain laws. Zimring, in turn, criticizes Garland for not giving more power to subcultural values in determining what citizens expect of their governments. He notes Garland's ignoring of his (Zimring's) showing of a close link between a history of lynching in a jurisdiction or region and the use of capital punishment. Zimring does acknowledge, however, the validity of one of Garland's criticisms, i.e., that Zimring fails to provide an empirical comparison of "vigilante values" in America with the presence or absence of similar values in countries that have abolished capital punishment. 12 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Abolishment of capital punishment; Capital punishment; Comparative analysis; Cultural influences; Public Opinion of Corrections; Public Opinion of the Courts; United States of America; Vigilantes; Vigilantism causes
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