This revised edition of a perennial bestseller, with more than 50 percent new material, is a much-needed overview of a hotly debated topic.
Why is the United States the only industrialized country in the world to persist with capital punishment? This updated edition of Capital Punishment: A Reference Handbook addresses this and other controversial questions. New features include sections on DNA and the Innocence Project, as well as special cases dealing with the mentally ill and incompetent, women, and children.
Capital Punishment focuses on the use of the death penalty in the United States, its international status, and how foreign developments affect the country. It includes a history, a discussion of the controversies surrounding the death penalty, updated biographical sketches, and statistics. Key documents include the U.S. Supreme Court decision affirming capital punishment, a key dissent, Charles Dickens' 19th century view of the guillotine, and various papal and European Union decrees. It also includes a chronology, organizations, websites with further information, and an annotated bibliography.
In this updated survey, a thorough overview of capital punishment, author Michael Kronenwetter reveals interesting facts, for example, under Roman law, death was the penalty for publishing "insulting songs" and disturbing the city's peace.
• Primary documents including the U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing the death penalty; "Evangelium Vitae," Pope John Paul's encyclical letter opposing the death penalty; and the South African court opinion abolishing the death penalty
• Lists of organizations in the United States and abroad, mostly devoted to the abolition of the death penalty
• Contains the European Union memorandum on the death penalty and Charles Dickens' journalistic account of the guillotine
• Includes a convenient list of key death penalty decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court
• Presents a wealth of statistics relevant to the capital punishment debate in easy to read tables, charts, and graphs