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Gruesome Spectacles: Botched Executions and America's Death Penalty Hardcover – April 30, 2014
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The author explains that the rituals are of recent origin starting in the middle of the 19th Century. The middle class was first coming in to its own and sought to demonstrate a moral superiority over the lower classes by distinguishing themselves from the "common mob". To appeal to this set of voters Governments began experimenting with more "painless" methods of killing (none work). Other cosmetic touches including doing away with "public" executions, forbidding pictures or any other method of recording the barbarity and putting the killing behind prison walls were all designed to take the "heat off the official killers, and turn the scrutiny, not on the killing itself but rather on the process, the crime details and the imagined "retributive" benefits when an execution takes place.
As Mr. Sarat and his team of researchers show the State has a stake (pardon the expression) in these sanctified killings. Politicians fall over each other to show that they are "tough" on crime and criminals.But the key question that Sarat and his team wanted answered was whether an execution benefitted the penalty proponents or their opposition. Until we end state sanctioned killing the question wii remain unanswered.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Such an interesting and informative book. Great writing and really great info!Published 5 months ago by Ally Leah Cooper
I heard of this book when listening to an interview with its author Austin Sarat on NPR’s “Morning Edition” program. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Bruce Swanson