counter create hit Courting Death: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Courting Death: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment

Availability: Ready to download

Unique among Western democracies in refusing to eradicate the death penalty, the United States has attempted instead to reform and rationalize state death penalty practices through federal constitutional law. Courting Death traces the unusual and distinctive history of top-down judicial regulation of capital punishment under the Constitution and its unanticipated consequen Unique among Western democracies in refusing to eradicate the death penalty, the United States has attempted instead to reform and rationalize state death penalty practices through federal constitutional law. Courting Death traces the unusual and distinctive history of top-down judicial regulation of capital punishment under the Constitution and its unanticipated consequences for our time. In the 1960s and 1970s, in the face of widespread abolition of the death penalty around the world, provisions for capital punishment that had long fallen under the purview of the states were challenged in federal courts. The U.S. Supreme Court intervened in two landmark decisions, first by constitutionally invalidating the death penalty in Furman v. Georgia (1972) on the grounds that it was capricious and discriminatory, followed four years later by restoring it in Gregg v. Georgia (1976). Since then, by neither retaining capital punishment in unfettered form nor abolishing it outright, the Supreme Court has created a complex regulatory apparatus that has brought executions in many states to a halt, while also failing to address the problems that led the Court to intervene in the first place. While execution chambers remain active in several states, constitutional regulation has contributed to the death penalty's new fragility. In the next decade or two, Carol Steiker and Jordan Steiker argue, the fate of the American death penalty is likely to be sealed by this failed judicial experiment. Courting Death illuminates both the promise and pitfalls of constitutional regulation of contentious social issues.


Compare
Ads Banner

Unique among Western democracies in refusing to eradicate the death penalty, the United States has attempted instead to reform and rationalize state death penalty practices through federal constitutional law. Courting Death traces the unusual and distinctive history of top-down judicial regulation of capital punishment under the Constitution and its unanticipated consequen Unique among Western democracies in refusing to eradicate the death penalty, the United States has attempted instead to reform and rationalize state death penalty practices through federal constitutional law. Courting Death traces the unusual and distinctive history of top-down judicial regulation of capital punishment under the Constitution and its unanticipated consequences for our time. In the 1960s and 1970s, in the face of widespread abolition of the death penalty around the world, provisions for capital punishment that had long fallen under the purview of the states were challenged in federal courts. The U.S. Supreme Court intervened in two landmark decisions, first by constitutionally invalidating the death penalty in Furman v. Georgia (1972) on the grounds that it was capricious and discriminatory, followed four years later by restoring it in Gregg v. Georgia (1976). Since then, by neither retaining capital punishment in unfettered form nor abolishing it outright, the Supreme Court has created a complex regulatory apparatus that has brought executions in many states to a halt, while also failing to address the problems that led the Court to intervene in the first place. While execution chambers remain active in several states, constitutional regulation has contributed to the death penalty's new fragility. In the next decade or two, Carol Steiker and Jordan Steiker argue, the fate of the American death penalty is likely to be sealed by this failed judicial experiment. Courting Death illuminates both the promise and pitfalls of constitutional regulation of contentious social issues.

48 review for Courting Death: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment

  1. 4 out of 5

    Vincent Li

    I've been procrastinating on writing a review for this, obviously the death penalty is a nuanced and multifaceted topic that elicits strong emotions. However, this book was so exhaustive that I feel like I do it a disservice by failing to suggest it as one of the premier books on the subject (within my limited knowledge). I learned a lot from the book, which does a good job of explaining the doctrinal changes between Furman and to Gregg as well as the real world politics of the decision, interes I've been procrastinating on writing a review for this, obviously the death penalty is a nuanced and multifaceted topic that elicits strong emotions. However, this book was so exhaustive that I feel like I do it a disservice by failing to suggest it as one of the premier books on the subject (within my limited knowledge). I learned a lot from the book, which does a good job of explaining the doctrinal changes between Furman and to Gregg as well as the real world politics of the decision, interesting implications, and historical background. The book discusses how the litigation that lead to Furman was motivated by the NAACP, which saw the disproportionate application of the death penalty to African-Americans as a form of racial injustice (the authors cite a study that asserts that the strongest predictor of the retention of the death penalty in a state is its history of lynching, related both to public justice and racial issues). The book describes how varied the reform in the states was, some states had abandoned or minimized the death penalty early in history while other states retained it. The supreme court tried to regulate the death penalty but failed, partially due to the lack of incorporation doctrine and partially due to the lack of central authority to enforce the court's commands. Finally, with Furman, which the court partially decided from polls suggesting that the majority of Americans turned against the death penalty for the first time, essentially banned the death penalty as it was practiced in the United States, though the court split on the rationale (from 8th amendment concerns, to due process). There followed a powerful legislative backlash, and the court essentially reversed itself in Gregg, but in the process asserted a constitutional regulation of the death penalty. The effect of this regulation has been a slow decline in the death penalty. In other words, the death penalty is being regulated to death. The authors make an interesting point that before constitutional regulation, proponents argued that the death penalty was a deterrent while opponents argued that it was symbolically wrong, but after regulation, the arguments have flipped, with proponents arguing that the death penalty has symbolic value. The book is full of insights and observations that too numerous to mention here. The authors tackle why Furman failed to mention race, despite the litigation strategy that lead to the case, arguing that it was from a combination of avoiding a sensitive subject post Brown and a genuine faith that proper due process could correct for racial disparities. The book discusses, the complex interaction between state process and the federal regulation the disparities in processing speeds depending on the state the case is tried in. The book discusses attempts to resolve the Furman command that the death penalty not have too much discretion by imposing mandatory death penalties (which failed) or by separating the sentencing and trial components, and the MPC reaction by including aggravating factors (though some factors were vague) essentially accepted by Gregg. The book discusses the failure of McCleskey to address the racial issues directly. Despite statistical evidence that the race of the victim and perpetrator affected the imposition of the death penalty, McCleskey held that there was no evidence of intention in his particular case. The authors argue that the court felt uncomfortable with the regression analysis, felt that the legislative was the appropriate institution and realized that McCleskey's logic could be extended to the entire criminal justice system, not just the death penalty. However, the authors note that a powerful doctrine, that of proportionality, came out of death penalty jurisprudence. This book is a must read for those who want to learn every important aspect of this controversial topic.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jerusalem Demsas

    decent -- good if you know v little about the subject

  3. 4 out of 5

    Walter

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  6. 5 out of 5

    David Husband

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cameron

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jessi LaChance

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Tralau-Stewart

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sarita

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ellison

  13. 5 out of 5

    Grace

  14. 4 out of 5

    Guillaume

  15. 5 out of 5

    Fenella

  16. 5 out of 5

    Michael Fine

  17. 5 out of 5

    Samuel Weiss

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  19. 4 out of 5

    Joe

  20. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tricia

  22. 4 out of 5

    Heather

  23. 5 out of 5

    Eryn Nelken

  24. 5 out of 5

    Steve

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

  26. 5 out of 5

    Liz Breazeale

  27. 4 out of 5

    Eli Weinstein

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

  29. 5 out of 5

    Angela

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lyla

  31. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey Luczynski

  32. 5 out of 5

    Karen

  33. 4 out of 5

    Heather

  34. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  35. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

  36. 4 out of 5

    Sean

  37. 5 out of 5

    Arjan

  38. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

  39. 5 out of 5

    Sewon Park

  40. 4 out of 5

    Lorraine

  41. 5 out of 5

    Rico Burney

  42. 5 out of 5

    Mike Levy

  43. 5 out of 5

    i.

  44. 4 out of 5

    Karen

  45. 4 out of 5

    Phyllis

  46. 4 out of 5

    Mollie Anderson

  47. 4 out of 5

    Chrissy Hocker

  48. 4 out of 5

    Noelle Swan

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.