BOOKS: "The Death of the American Death Penalty"

A new book by Larry Koch, Colin Wark and John Galliher discusses the status of the death penalty in the U.S. in light of recent legislative activity and court decisions. In The Death of the American Death Penalty, the authors examine the impact of factors such as economic conditions, public sentiment, the role of elites, the media, and population diversity on the death penalty debate. The book highlights the recent abolition decisions in New York, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Illinois, and the surprising decline of the death penalty even in the deep South. James R. Acker, Distinguished Teaching Professor in Criminal Justice at the University at Albany, said, “Support for capital punishment in this country, as measured by the laws authorizing it, prosecutors’ enthusiasm for seeking it, jury verdicts that dispatch it, and executioners’ final deliverance, has eroded rapidly in recent years. A decade after the publication of its predecessor and carrying on in that volume’s fine tradition, The Death of the American Death Penalty provides detailed explanations—the where, how, and why—of these dramatic developments in death penalty laws and practices.”

Koch is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Michigan, Flint. Wark is an assistant professor of psychology and sociology at Texas A&M University, Kingsville. Galliher is a professor of sociology at University of Missouri, Columbia.

(L. Koch, C. Wark and J. Galliher, “The Death of the American Death Penalty: States Still Leading the Way,” Northeastern University Press (2012); posted by DPIC on September 7, 2012). See Books on the death penalty and Recent Legislative Activity.