Items: 31 — 40

Jun 21, 2017

BOOKS: The History of the Death Penalty in Colorado”

When University of Colorado Boulder soci­ol­o­gy pro­fes­sor Michael Radelet began doing research on the death penal­ty in the 1970s, the not­ed death-penal­ty schol­ar tells Colorado Public Radio, he did­n’t have an opin­ion about cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment and did­n’t know any­thing about it.” After research­ing issues of race, inno­cence, and the death penal­ty, he came to have grave…

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Jun 08, 2017

BOOKS: Exonerated” Tells the Story of the Innocence Movement

Exonerated: A History of the Innocence Movement, by Robert J. Norris, describes the rise of the inno­cence move­ment,” the lawyers, inves­ti­ga­tors, jour­nal­ists, law­mak­ers, and orga­ni­za­tions that have worked to uncov­er wrong­ful con­vic­tions, edu­cate the pub­lic about the prob­lem, and reform the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem to pre­vent future mis­takes. For the book, Norris inter­viewed 37 key lead­ers on the issue, includ­ing Innocence Project co-founders Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld, and Rob…

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May 01, 2017

BOOKS: The Trials of Walter Ogrod” Chronicles Pennsylvania Possible Innocence Case

Walter Ogrod was con­vict­ed and sen­tenced to death in Philadelphia in 1996 for the 1988 mur­der of a 4‑year-old girl, whose body was found in a dis­card­ed tele­vi­sion box. Ogrod, who is devel­op­men­tal­ly dis­abled, has long main­tained his inno­cence, but despite sig­nif­i­cant irreg­u­lar­i­ties in the case and amidst alle­ga­tions of offi­cial mis­con­duct, local pros­e­cu­tors have fought efforts to obtain DNA test­ing of the phys­i­cal evi­dence and to inves­ti­gate the role a dis­cred­it­ed prison infor­mant played in…

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Feb 20, 2017

BOOKS: The Death Penalty As Torture: From the Dark Ages to Abolition”

In his newest book, The Death Penalty As Torture: From the Dark Ages to Abolition, John Bessler chron­i­cles the his­tor­i­cal link between tor­ture and the death penal­ty from the Middle Ages to the present day and argues that both are medieval relics. The book, released on February 17, 2017, asserts that cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment is itself a form of tor­ture, despite mod­ern legal dis­tinc­tions that out­law tor­ture while per­mit­ting death sen­tences and…

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Nov 18, 2016

BOOKS: The Case of Rose Bird,” and the Continuing Power of Money in Judicial Elections

In 1986, California vot­ers removed Rose Bird, the state’s first female supreme court chief jus­tice, from office after con­ser­v­a­tive groups spent more than $10 mil­lion in a recall effort that por­trayed her as soft on crime,” empha­siz­ing her court opin­ions over­turn­ing death sen­tences that had been uncon­sti­tu­tion­al­ly imposed. Ten years lat­er, Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Penny White lost a reten­tion elec­tion after death penal­ty pro­po­nents and other…

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Nov 01, 2016

BOOKS: Courting Death: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment”

Courting Death: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment by Harvard Law Professor Carol S. Steiker and University of Texas Law Professor Jordan M. Steiker exam­ines the U.S. Supreme Court’s exten­sive — and ulti­mate­ly failed — effort to reform and ratio­nal­ize the prac­tice of cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment in the United States through top-down, con­sti­tu­tion­al reg­u­la­tion.” The authors argue that sig­nif­i­cant con­sti­tu­tion­al flaws per­sist in the death penal­ty sys­tem despite the Court’s…

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Sep 01, 2016

BOOKS: Justice Breyer’s Dissent in Glossip v. Gross, Edited and Contextualized

In a new book, Against the Death Penalty, Professor John Bessler of the University of Baltimore School of Law presents Justice Stephen Breyer’s his­toric dis­sent in Glossip v. Gross, which ques­tioned the con­tin­u­ing con­sti­tu­tion­al­i­ty of cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment in the United States, in a new for­mat intend­ed to make the opin­ion more acces­si­ble to a broad audi­ence. I tried to con­tex­tu­al­ize the opin­ion by doing a longer intro­duc­tion which makes the…

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Jul 13, 2016

BOOKS: Race and the Death Penalty: The Legacy of McCleskey v. Kemp”

In a land­mark rul­ing in McCleskey v. Kemp in 1987, a bit­ter­ly divid­ed U.S. Supreme Court vot­ed 5 – 4 vote that sta­tis­ti­cal evi­dence of racial dis­crim­i­na­tion in the appli­ca­tion of the death penal­ty was insuf­fi­cient to over­turn an indi­vid­ual death sen­tence. A new book, Race and the Death Penalty: The Legacy of McCleskey v. Kemp, edit­ed by David P. Keys, asso­ciate pro­fes­sor of crim­i­nal jus­tice at New Mexico State University and R.J. Maratea of the Youth Research…

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Jun 29, 2016

BOOKS: Executing Grace”

In his new book, Executing Grace, evan­gel­i­cal Christian speak­er, activist, and author Shane Claiborne weaves togeth­er per­son­al nar­ra­tives, the­ol­o­gy, and research to make a Christian case against the death penal­ty. Claiborne says “[t]he death penal­ty did not flour­ish in America in spite of Christians but because of us.” Arguing that “[w]e can’t make death penal­ty his­to­ry until we make death penal­ty per­son­al,” he tells the sto­ries of people…

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Mar 11, 2016

BOOKS: 13 Ways of Looking at the Death Penalty”

The recent book, 13 Ways of Looking at the Death Penalty, by Mario Marazziti, explores the United States’ con­tin­u­ing use of the death penal­ty in a world com­mu­ni­ty that is increas­ing­ly reject­ing the prac­tice. The Philadelphia Inquirer calls the book an inter­est­ing, com­pelling look at the cul­tur­al and reli­gious under­pin­nings of the death penal­ty and how we got here. More impor­tant, [Marazziti’s] inter­views with U.S. death-row inmates — living…

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