Items: 61 — 70

Jan 06, 2014

NEW VOICES: Former California Chief Justice Questions Arbitrariness in Death Sentencing

Ronald George is a for­mer Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, who reg­u­lar­ly upheld death sen­tences. However, in his recent book, Chief: The Quest for Justice in California, he ques­tioned the geo­graph­i­cal dis­par­i­ties in the appli­ca­tion of the death penal­ty in the state. In his chap­ter, Reforming the Judicial System,” he wrote, You could have the exact same crime, let’s say a straight­for­ward street rob­bery homi­cide, result in the seeking…

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Nov 15, 2013

BOOKS: Robert Blecker’s The Death of Punishment”

Robert Blecker, a pro­fes­sor at New York Law School, has writ­ten a new book sup­port­ing cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment, The Death of Punishment: Searching for Justice among the Worst of the Worst. Blecker urges read­ers to con­sid­er his ret­ribu­tivist argu­ment for the death penal­ty: We ret­ribu­tivists view pun­ish­ment dif­fer­ent­ly,” he wrote. We don’t pun­ish to pre­vent crime or remake crim­i­nals. We inflict pain – suf­fer­ing, dis­com­fort – to the degree they deserve to feel it.” He would…

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Oct 25, 2013

Upcoming Events to Review Death Penalty Practice

Two events in November will exam­ine the appli­ca­tion of the death penal­ty from a vari­ety of per­spec­tives. On November 12, the American Bar Association will host the National Symposium on the Modern Death Penalty at the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia. The con­fer­ence will cul­mi­nate the ABA’s eight-year effort to ass­es the death penal­ty in var­i­ous states, using cri­te­ria for due process estab­lished by the ABA. Former President Jimmy Carter will be a…

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Sep 26, 2013

BOOKS: Grave Injustice: Unearthing Wrongful Executions”

Grave Injustice, a new book by Richard Stack, presents a crit­i­cal exam­i­na­tion of the death penal­ty through pro­files of indi­vid­u­als who were exe­cut­ed but may have been inno­cent. Their sto­ries are used to illus­trate flaws in the death penal­ty, includ­ing faulty eye­wit­ness iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, gov­ern­ment mis­con­duct, and inef­fec­tive rep­re­sen­ta­tion. In exam­in­ing these prob­lems, Stack writes that the pos­si­ble end of the death penal­ty will not be based on its immorality…but on…

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Sep 20, 2013

BOOKS: Perspectives on Capital Punishment In America”

Perspectives on Capital Punishment in America is a col­lec­tion of short schol­ar­ly pieces on the death penal­ty sys­tem. The essays stem from the late Justice Thurgood Marshall’s belief that death is dif­fer­ent” and thus must be treat­ed spe­cial­ly with­in the judi­cial sys­tem. The book exam­ines issues such as wrong­ful con­vic­tions in cap­i­tal cas­es, death qual­i­fi­ca­tion of jurors, the cost of the death penal­ty, felony mur­der rules, and the death penal­ty’s place in the Uniform…

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Aug 30, 2013

BOOKS: Contemporary Religious Views on the Death Penalty

Anthony Santoro has writ­ten a new book about reli­gious per­spec­tives on the death penal­ty, Exile and Embrace: Contemporary Religious Discourse on the Death Penalty. In describ­ing the book, John D. Bessler, a law pro­fes­sor at the University of Baltimore, said, Santoro tells the sto­ries of every­one from death row chap­lains to blog­gers and Bible study par­tic­i­pants. In dis­cussing trans­gres­sion, ret­ri­bu­tion, and the oth­er,’ he skill­ful­ly demon­strates how exe­cu­tions say…

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Aug 20, 2013

BOOKS: The Corruption of Innocence” — the Joseph O’Dell Story

A new book by Lori St John, The Corruption of Innocence: A Journey to Justice, recounts the author’s quest to save the life of Joseph O’Dell because of her strong belief in his inno­cence. St John describes the resis­tance she expe­ri­enced in try­ing to have crime-relat­ed items test­ed for DNA evi­dence, and the inter­na­tion­al sup­port that O’Dell attract­ed while on death row. O’Dell was exe­cut­ed in Virginia in…

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Aug 13, 2013

BOOKS: A Wild Justice” Explores the Cases and Politics That Led to Today’s Death Penalty

In his new book, A Wild Justice, Evan J. Mandery (pic­tured) explores the polit­i­cal com­plex­i­ties and per­son­al­i­ties that led to the Supreme Courts deci­sions in Furman v. Georgia–strik­ing down the death penal­ty in 1972 – and Gregg v. Georgia–allow­ing it to resume in 1976. He describes in great detail the work of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the gift­ed attor­neys, such as Anthony Amsterdam, who led the way through this…

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May 10, 2013

BOOKS: Women Who Kill Men” – An Historical and Social Analysis

Women Who Kill Men: California Courts, Gender, and the Press exam­ines the role that gen­der played in the tri­als of women accused of mur­der in California between 1870 – 1958. The authors trace the chang­ing views of the pub­lic towards women and how these views may have affect­ed the out­comes of the cas­es. Some defen­dants faced the death penal­ty and were exe­cut­ed; some were spared. Often the pub­lic was deeply fas­ci­nat­ed with all aspects of the tri­al and…

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Apr 11, 2013

BOOKS: Proof of Guilt: Barbara Graham and the Politics of Executing Women in America”

A new book by Kathleen Cairns explores the intrigu­ing sto­ry of Barbara Graham, who was exe­cut­ed for mur­der in California in 1955, and whose case became a touch­stone in the ongo­ing debate over cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment. In Proof of Guilt: Barbara Graham and the Politics of Executing Women in America, Cairns exam­ines how dif­fer­ent nar­ra­tives por­trayed Graham, with pros­e­cu­tors describ­ing her as mys­te­ri­ous and seduc­tive, while some of the media emphasized…

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