The Death Penalty

The Death Penalty

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From 1965 until 1980, there was a virtual moratorium on executions for capital offenses in the United States. This was due primarily to protracted legal proceedings challenging the death penalty on constitutional grounds. After much Sturm und Drang, the Supreme Court of the United States, by a divided vote, finally decided that qthe death penalty does not invariably violate the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause of the Eighth Amendment.q The Court's decisions, however, do not moot the controversy about the death penalty or render this excellent book irrelevant. The ball is now in the court of the Legislature and the Executive. Leg islatures, federal and state, can impose or abolish the death penalty, within the guidelines prescribed by the Supreme Court. A Chief Executive can commute a death sentence. And even the Supreme Court can change its mind, as it has done on many occasions and did, with respect to various aspects of the death penalty itself, durlog the moratorium period. Also, the people can change their minds. Some time ago, a majority, according to reliable polls, favored abolition. Today, a substantial majority favors imposition of the death penalty. The pendulum can swing again, as it has done in the past.... over the last 60 years, I would be at a loss to rebut the deterrent effect of the electric chairs that are in use in those states. ... The Canadian Experience At least as impressive a demonstration of the irrelevance of capital punishment to murder ... Rather, I shall present as much background as seems necessary to appreciate the significance of the data in Table II in ... From 1892 to 1961, the Criminal Code provided for only two classes of homicide: murder, always punished by death, andanbsp;...

Title:The Death Penalty
Author:Ernest Van den Haag, John Phillips Conrad
Publisher:Springer Science & Business Media - 2013-06-29


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