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Against the Death Penalty: The Relentless Dissents of Justices Brennan and Marshall Hardcover – April 15, 1996


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Northeastern; First Edition edition (April 15, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555532616
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555532611
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,113,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Movie watcher on August 12, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This is a promising book that is thoroughly researched.
Unlike every other supreme court justice that has had the opportunity, neither Justice Brennan nor Justice Marshall ever voted to affirm a death sentence.
The first third of the book covers familiar territory as it recounts the lives and possible influences on Brennan's and Marshall's approach to the law, including their consistent opposition to capital punishment.
The remaining two thirds of the book tries to place Brennan's and Marshall's approach of dissenting for the same reason for about 20 years, in historical and jurisprudential context. It does not fully succeed. In some sense, neither Brennan nor Marshall were writing to recapture the past or to have death penalty cases decided according to established legal approaches; they wrote for the future. They believed that at some point the rest of this country would "mature" and, like them, renounce the death penalty as a legitimate penal sanction. It would have been more meaningful if the book contained a detailed examination of Brennan's and Marshall's influence on capital punishment in the 20th century -- both nationally and internationally, notwithstanding their "relentless dissents." That is, I would have desired that the book look in detail in what occassion their dissents eventually became the law of the land, or the compromises that had to be made by the other justices to accommodate or rebut their views.
The book could use a little more editing, as in several places the thoughts contained in some paragraphs are repeated a few pages later.
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