Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Stay of Execution: Saving the Death Penalty from Itself (Hoover Studies in Politics, Economics, and Society) Hardcover – October 16, 2010
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In his debut, Lane puts himself squarely in the camp of the "pro-death penalty American majority," yet believes that its application reveals "troubling flaws." Addressing the lack of a standards in sentencing that allows counties to act autonomously, Lane says that "There is no ÿAmerican criminal justice system,' but rather 3,141 criminal justice systems." He studies the use and abuse of capital punishment, and uncovers statistical evidence of racism (until 1967, Southern courts defined the rape of a white woman by a black man as a capital crime.) Lane dismisses claims that the penalty is a deterrent, comparing the homicide rate in Canada, where the death penalty was abolished in 1967, with that of the U.S. Lane feels that the death penalty should be used sparingly, not as retribution but as a "special penalty" for "special crimes" in order to affirm the sanctity of human life, and breaking with the European Union's definition of capital punishment as a human-rights issue ("everyone has an absolute right not to be put to death by the state"). A member of the Washington Post's editorial board, Lane has produced a careful, considered examination of a divisive issue. (Oct.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Lane, a Washington Post staff writer, approaches the perennially controversial subject of capital punishment from two angles. He assesses the cases for and against the death penalty, concluding that each has legitimate points and that each also contains some serious flaws (for example, one of the anchors of the case against is the idea that it’s racially unequal, but, the author shows, the racial disparity is frequently overstated by death-penalty opponents). The real issue here, Lane says, is the apparent contradiction surrounding the capital-punishment debate: polls indicate a majority of people support the death penalty, while they also believe that it is not a deterrent (which itself points up a flaw in the pro–death penalty argument). Not so much a discussion of whether capital punishment is right or wrong, or morally justified or repellent, the book is rather a thoughtful overview of the subject. Lane’s conclusion about capital punishment—the law works, but it’s application is clunky—is sure to provoke spirited debate. --David Pitt
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
It's a good book, in the common vernacular. Written by a journalist from the Washington Post. He often takes an argument against the issue, breaks down the "facts" behind said argument, and then reasonably presents the opposing viewpoint in easy to understand and comprehensible terms. The issues of Racism, deterrents, and costs are all addressed, with results often different - sometimes the same - from what has been presented in the media.
It may not change your mind, but however you feel about this issue, you need this book. If not to support your opinions, then to challenge them. And opinions are of little value if they cannot withstand scrutiny.
Perhaps it would be possible for someone with such a disturbing attitude to write a good book about the death penalty, but this is not that book. It's a snooze, unconvincing, and I can't imagine who the audience for this stuff is.