BOOKS: Death Penalty Law



  • Elon University School of Law’s Professor Victor Streib has released a new edition of his book, Streib’s Death Penalty in a Nutshell. It covers both the substantive and the procedural law of the death penalty and begins with arguments for and against the death penalty and an explanation of its basic constitutional challenges and limitations. Professor Streib covers capital crimes and defenses, as well as trial level and post trial procedural issues. Other topics include race and gender bias, executing the innocent, and international and foreign law issues. This book, which serves both as supplemental reading for death penalty courses and as a concise, narrative explanation of death penalty law, is current as of July 2008. Copies of the book can be purchased here.

(V. Streib, "Streib's Death Penalty in a Nutshell," 3rd ed., 2008).  See also Books.

  • The Death Penalty: Constitutional Issues, Commentaries and Case Briefs is a new textbook that brings together many of the legal issues of the death penalty and presents them in an easy-to-digest form. The book provides a brief retrospective analysis of capital punishment over the past two centuries, and then details the current status of the U.S. death penalty. With a chapter that focuses on the U.S. Supreme Court cases Furman v. Georgia and Gregg v. Georgia, as well as chapters on race, the mentally impaired, representation, appeals, and other issues, this new resource is a comprehensive look inside America's death penalty debate and the issues that shape it. The book was authored by Rolando V. del Carmen, Scott Vollum, Kelly Cheeseman, Durant Frantzen, and Claudia San Miguel. (Matthew Bender & Company, a member of the LexisNexis Group, 2005). See Books.
  • Professor James R. Eisenberg's new book, "Law, Psychology, and Death Penalty Litigation," provides a thorough introduction to the role that forensic psychology plays in capital trials. Using a step-by-step approach that covers the historical and current legal context of capital punishment, Eisenberg describes the various tasks that might confront the forensic psychologist in a death penalty trial, including issues of competency to be executed, mental retardation, risk assessment, and related ethical dilemmas. Eisenberg, an award-winning Professor of Psychology and Director of the Criminal Justice Program at Lake Erie College in Ohio, has worked on over 200 death penalty cases and thousands of other criminal and civic forensic proceedings. He is a member of the American Bar Association's Task Force on Mental Illness and the Death Penalty. (Professional Resource Press, 2004)
  • In "Understanding Capital Punishment Law," a new book published as part of the LexisNexis Understanding series, law professors Linda Carter and Ellen Kreitzberg offer students in capital punishment courses an overview of this complex area of law. The book includes a thorough review of constitutional law and current issues related to capital punishment in the U.S. (Matthew Bender & Company, Inc. 2004)
  • Death Penalty "In a Nutshell" - The "In a Nutshell" series of law reference books has added a death penalty edition by capital punishment expert and professor Victor Streib. The book provides a brief history of the death penalty debate in the United States and reviews the constitutional issues that are most often addressed in death penalty cases. In addition to the different stages and unique aspects of a capital trial, Streib uses the resource to explain trial and post-trial procedures, as well as issues such as competent counsel, race and gender bias, innocence, and international death penalty law. (West Group, 2002).
  • Coyne, Randall and Entzeroth, Lyn: "Capital punishment and the judicial process"; Carolina Academic Press, Durham, NC, 1994