The Contradictions of American Capital Punishment
He shows that the great majority of executions in recent decades have occurred in precisely those Southern states where lynchings were most common a hundred years ago. It is this legacy, Zimring suggests, that constitutes both the distinctive appeal of the death penalty in the United States and one of the most compelling reasons for abolishing it. Impeccably researched and engagingly written, Contradictions in American Capital Punishment casts a clear new light on America's long and troubled embrace of the death penalty.
- Paperback | 272 pages
- 154.9 x 231.1 x 22.9mm | 340.2g
- 18 Nov 2004
- Oxford University Press
- Oxford, United Kingdom
- 16 line illus.
Other books in this series
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18 Nov 2004
29 Jul 2010
lively style, this provocative and completely original work has much to teach both defenders and opponents of capital punishment."-Hugo Adam Bedau, author of The Death Penalty in America "Frank Zimring's book will revolutionize how we understand the death penalty in the United States. Why, Zimring asks, does capital punishment persist in America, almost uniquely among established democracies, despite entrenched unfairness and the virtual inevitability of error? His original and provocative answer is America's vigilante tradition. Like vigilante action, the death penalty suffers from the biases of the dominant social group and the unwarranted
assumption that the guilty have been correctly identified. Highlighting this uncomfortable comparison offers a promising new approach for those committed to ending this inhumane institution of American life."-Kenneth Roth, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch "Zimring does an great public service in examining the United States' retention of a primitive and brutal punishment long after it was abandoned by other developed nations. This book will help insure that the inevitable abandonment of capital punishment by the United States is not delayed for another generation."-Stephen Bright Director, Southern Center for Human Rights "Although controversial, this work is undoubtedly at the forefront of the debate over interstate variations in death penalty jurisprudence. Essential for law libraries."-Library Journal "Includes a sharp, sensitive discussion of the political and cultural forces shaping contemporary attitudes toward the death penalty, along with hard data about executions, a cogent explanation of the capital process and an account of successful efforts to abolish the death penalty in Europe."-Wendy Kaminer, American Prospect "Zimring is doing more than making a case for or against; he's presenting an impressive array of facts, suggesting that the U.S. would be 'a better nation' if it exorcised those vigilante values."-Los Angeles Times Book Review "Thought-provoking, well-founded ammunition for the endless debate over capital punishment."-Kirkus Reviews "Franklin Zimring, one of America's leading criminologists, has managed to rise above the cacophony to write a thought-provoking and genuinely original book which deserves to become a classic."-The Economist
About Franklin E. Zimring