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NCJ Number: 118827 Find in a Library
Title: Facing the Death Penalty: Essays on a Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Editor(s): M L Radelet
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 215
Sponsoring Agency: Temple University Press
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6099
Publication Number: ISBN 0-87722-611-3
Sale Source: Temple University Press
1601 N. Broad Street
University Service Bldg., Room 305
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6099
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: These 15 essays and an introductory chapter examine what life under a death sentence is like for condemned inmates and their families, how and why various professionals help them in their struggle for life, and what these personal experiences with capital punishment suggest about the wisdom of this penal policy.
Abstract: The authors include historians, attorneys, sociologists, anthropologists, criminologists, a minister, a philosopher, and three prisoners. Interviews with those who have planned and carried out executions in San Quentin's gas chamber give accounts of how condemned criminals are regarded by those closest to them in their final hours. Several lawyers describe their experiences and the ethical dilemmas they face when representing a death row inmate. A historian describes the ways in which many prisoners from the 18th century to the present have approached their impending executions. Other discussions focus on the use of the death penalty for juvenile offenders and of alternatives to capital punishment. Personal accounts of spending the last days and hours with death row inmates and their families question the humanity of this punishment, not only for the inmates but also for their children and other relatives. Anthropological assessments of capital punishment and comparisons with other cultures are also included. In addition, the moral, social, and factual issues involved in discussions of capital punishment are examined. Tables, lists of case citations, and chapter reference lists. (Publisher summary modified)
Main Term(s): Capital punishment
Index Term(s): Cruel and unusual punishment; Death row inmates
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