NEW RESOURCES: The State of Criminal Justice 2010

The American Bar Association recently published The State of Criminal Justice 2010, an annual report that examines major issues, trends and significant changes in America's criminal justice system. This publication serves as a valuable resource for academics, students, and policy-makes in the area of criminal justice, and contains 19 chapters focusing on specific areas of the criminal justice field. The chapter devoted to capital punishment was written by Ronald Tabak, special counsel and pro bono coordinator at Skadden Arps. Tabak explores legislative changes in the states, the decline in the use of the death penalty, important Supreme Court decisions, and other issues such as the adequacy of representation in capital cases.  In concluding, he writes, "Ultimately, our society must decide whether to continue with a system that has been found in study after study to be far more expensive than the actual alternative – in which life without parole is the most serious punishment. The question has become substantially more important given the severe economic downturn in 2008-10. In view of the lack of persuasive evidence of societal benefits from capital punishment, this is one ineffectual, wasteful government program whose elimination deserves serious consideration."

("The State of Criminal Justice 2010," American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section, April 19, 2010).  The publication can be pre-ordered at this link.  Click here for Studies on the death penalty.