Two phenomena have shaped American criminal law for the past thirty years: the war on crime and the victims' rights movement. As incapacitation has replaced rehabilitation as the dominant ideology of punishment, reflecting a shift from an identification with defendants to an identification with victims, the war on crime has victimized offenders and victims alike. What we need instead, Dubber argues, is a system which adequately recognizes both victims and defendants as persons. Victims in the War on Crime is the first book to provide a critical analysis of the role of victims in the criminal justice system as a whole. It also breaks new ground in focusing not only on the victims of crime, but also on those of the war on victimless crime. After first offering an original critique of the American penal system in the age of the crime war, Dubber undertakes an incisive comparative reading of American criminal law and the law of crime victim compensation, culminating in a wide-ranging revision that takes victims seriously, and offenders as well. Dubber here salvages the project of vindicating victims' rights for its own sake, rather than as a weapon in the war against criminals. Uncovering the legitimate core of the victims' rights movement from underneath existing layers of bellicose rhetoric, he demonstrates how victims' rights can help us build a system of American criminal justice after the frenzy of the war on crime has died down.
As a pioneer of the modern legal novel and a criminal lawyer, Scott Turow has been involved with the death penalty for more than a decade, including successfully representing two different men convicted in death-penalty prosecutions. In this vivid account of how his views on the death penalty have evolved, Turow describes his own experiences with capital punishment from his days as an impassioned young prosecutor to his recent service on the Illinois commission which investigated the administration of the death penalty and influenced Governor George Ryan's unprecedented commutation of the sentences of 164 death row inmates on his last day in office. Along the way, he provides a brief history of America's ambivalent relationship with the ultimate punishment, analyzes the potent reasons for and against it, including the role of the victims' survivors, and tells the powerful stories behind the statistics, as he moves from the Governor's Mansion to Illinois' state-of-the art 'super-max' prison and the execution chamber.
Paternoster et al. present a balanced perspective that focuses on both the arguments for and against capital punishment. Coverage draws on legal, historical, philosophical, economic, sociological, and religious points of view.
"Anyone who cares about capital punishment should read this compelling, lucid account of the obstacles defense attorneys face and the strategies they adopt." --John Parry, University of Pittsburgh School of Law "With its compelling narratives of cases, strategies, and ethical dilemmas, Litigating in the Shadow of Death is difficult to put down. . . . This pathbreaking book encapsulates the experience of the most respected capital defenders in America and shows how they save even the worst of the worst from execution. It also shows how sleeping and otherwise incompetent lawyers bring death sentences to their clients. Litigating in the Shadow of Death explores the lawyers' tasks at every stage of the criminal process--investigation, client interviewing, conferring with victims' families, plea bargaining, trial, appeal, and post-conviction proceedings." --Albert W. Alschuler, Julius Kreeger Professor of Law and Criminology, University of Chicago "A unique and profoundly important contribution to the literature on the death penalty. White allows the leading capital defense attorneys to speak in their own voices. His work reveals a new source of arbitrariness in the death system--whether the penalty is imposed turns more on who is your lawyer than on how evil was your deed or your character. Litigating in the Shadow of Death offers concrete guidelines for better lawyering, protection of the innocent, and understanding the artistry of the best capital attorneys. This is vivid, gripping stuff." --Andrew Taslitz, Professor of Law, Howard University "A most illuminating book by a splendid writer and an eminent critic of the capital punishment system." --Yale Kamisar, Professor of Law, University of San Diego "Welsh White has written another excellent book on the death penalty--this one on how defense attorneys in capital cases successfully prevent the state from executing their clients. Based on original research, Litigating in the Shadow of Death is informative and insightful. This is a book that all serious students of American capital punishment must read." --Richard Leo, University of California, Irvine Welsh S. White was Bessie McKee Walthour Endowed Chair and Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh.
In the six years which have elapsed since publication of the first edition many changes have taken place in respect of the death penalty; the number of countries which have abolished the death penalty has increased at an unprecedented rate although a few have re-introduced it; the range of offenses subject to the death penalty has contracted in many countries, but expanded in others; there are new facts to report on the number of executions carried out; much more is known about the extent to which states abide by the United Nation's Safeguards Guaranteeing Protection of the Rights of Those Facing the Death Penalty; and much has been published particularly in the United States of America on the legal, ethical and practical aspects of administering capital punishment and on public attitudes towards it. The time is therefore right for a new edition and in preparing it Dr Hood has thoroughly revised and updated the whole work.
More than 30 years after the US Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty, it is still plagued with egregious problems. Issues of wrongful conviction, inhumane practices, and its efficacy as a deterrent are hotly debated topics. As of August 2007, two-thirds of the world’s countries have abolished the death penalty. Today, the US falls alongside Iran, Iraq, Sudan, China, and Pakistan as countries that continue to believe the death penalty is a necessary and productive practice. Compiling articles and essays from leading experts, The Death Penalty Today presents an in-depth examination of the current points of debate. The first of two sections focuses on miscarriages of justice, including errors in conviction and possible remedies. It reviews 13 death penalty study commissions that reveal potential causes of wrongful conviction and discusses relevant factors such as geography, timeframe, and race. The first section also considers the responsibility of the state for reintegration of the wrongfully convicted after exoneration, as well as flaws with the ability of lethal injections to produce a “humane” and “painless” death. The second section addresses death penalty opinion with a survey of scholarly experts as well as a survey of mid-level police managers. It considers the criminalization of reporting, televising, and photographing executions and the implications to the first amendment and government accountability. It reveals the phenomenon of consensual executions as assisted suicide and the curious dichotomy in logic between the reviled practice of lynching and its close cousin—the government sanctioned execution. With lucid arguments supported by verifiable statistics and expert opinion, The Death Penalty Today provides a sober look at the death penalty in the US and begs the question of when, not if, the US will join the majority of the civilized world in its abolition.