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Encyclopedia of Capital Punishment in the United States Hardcover – July 29, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0786432639 ISBN-10: 0786432632 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 631 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland; 2nd edition (July 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786432632
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786432639
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 8.5 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,224,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The primary purpose of this volume is to provide a comprehensive source of information on the legal, social, and political history and present status of capital punishment in the U.S. The encyclopedia accomplishes this through the use of A-Z entries, both brief and extensive, covering almost every capital punishment opinion issued by the U.S. Supreme Court through 1999. In addition there are entries covering each jurisdiction in the U.S. that summarize the relevant death penalty laws as well as provide information on the judicial structure of each jurisdiction. There are also entries for the status of capital punishment in other nations of the world; famous capital prosecutions; organizations that are either pro- or anti-capital punishment; capital punishment in the military; and the impact of capital punishment on minority groups in the U.S.

There is a wealth of statistical data and tables presented within the entries. For instance, in Actual innocence claim, a table shows death row inmates released after proving their innocence, giving name, year convicted, year released, and the state in which they were convicted. The entry Women and capital punishment is also interesting, with charts showing that since 1932 only 35 women have been executed on death row, versus 4,418 men. This entry also discusses the controversy over gender discrimination in capital prosecutions.

A major proportion of the essays deal with Supreme Court death penalty decisions, and each entry for a Supreme Court case follows a prescribed format. The first paragraph provides a case citation, issue presented, and case holding; the second section provides factual and procedural background on the case; the final section provides the opinion of the Court.

Cross-references are used liberally to help the nonspecialist gain access to the many legal issues and terminology. An index also helps to provide access via terms, names, and cases. A two-page bibliography provides sources for additional research and reading.

The author, an attorney and writer on the death penalty, has done an admirable job of documenting a complex and emotional topic. This volume will help public and academic library users cope knowledgeably with the history of and legal issues surrounding capital punishment in America. ABC-CLIO's Encyclopedia of Capital Punishment (1998) offers more historical and international coverage; both titles would be useful in larger collections. RBB
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Comprehensive. --Booklist/RBB

Crowded with information...substantial reference value...a strong reference tool, recommended. --Choice

Provid[es] the most complete information available on capital punishment in America. Densely packed with easily accessible information, the encyclopedia contains an entry for virtually every capital punishment decision issued by the U.S. Supreme Court…useful…covers newsworthy murder cases resulting in death sentences…essential. --Arba

More About the Author

Hello and welcome to my Amazon Author web page. I am an attorney and author. I have written on a variety of legal issues. My publications attempt to be of service to the legal profession and non-lawyers. I hope that you are able to find one or more of my works helpful to your legal interests.

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Format: Hardcover
This legal resource book, published in 2001 and revised for January 2008, presents detailed statistical facts and legal precedents regarding capital punishment in the United States of America, one of the few nations in the world which actually kills people as part of its legal system, despite a clear and consitutional prohibition of "cruel and unusual punishment." What could be more cruel and unusual than the taking of a human life?

The December 18, 2007 United Nations resolution calling for an absolute moratorium on executing anyone else prayerfully makes such a resource obsolete. This book has the potential of being an excellent resource in the hands of a skilled defense lawyer struggling to keep a client off death row; hopefully the new UN resolution passed overwhelmingly despite US opposition will make this difficult feat of lawyering unecessary.

It is interesting to note that one impetus worldwide for this moratorium was Catholic organizations such as the Community of Sant'Egidio and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Pope John Paul II, well respected moral authority worldwide, declared the death penalty both "cruel and unnecessary" in his 1999 encyclical The Gospel of Life: Evangelium Vitae and the cases for its just application "very rare, if not practically nonexistent." WE may find further presentation on the development of the moral theology of Pope John Paul II presented in the work by American Catholic priest and influential and authoritative professor of moral theology, the Reverend Father Charles Curran in his work
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