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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 153076 Find in a Library
Title: Miscarriage of Justice: Why the Death Penalty Doesn't Work
Journal: Washington Post Magazine  Dated:(February 5, 1995)  Pages:8-13,20-24
Author(s): D Von Drehle
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 11
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article presents research findings and case examples to support the argument that capital punishment, despite its popularity with the public, is far more expensive than life imprisonment. ABST For most of the history of the United States, capital punishment was a State or even a local issue. A disproportionate number of the people executed under local rules and customs were black; and the execution rate was most dramatically skewed for the crime of rape. However, during the 1950's and 1960's, the United States Supreme court asserted more vigorously than ever that constitutional protections applied to actions in the States. Its 1972 decision in Furman v. Georgia struck down hundreds of laws in nearly 40 jurisdictions and led to a wide variety of new State laws on capital punishment. However, Federal and State court rulings have firmly established that the death penalty should not be imposed arbitrarily, resulting in lengthy and numerous appeals, hearings, and stays of executions. The cases of Doug McCray and James Adams illustrate the inefficiency and costs of the current system.
Main Term(s): Court procedures
Index Term(s): Abolishment of capital punishment; Capital punishment; Correctional reform; Death row inmates; Sentencing reform
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