An in-depth examination of what life under a sentence of death is like
Facing The Death Penalty
Essays on a Cruel and Unusual Punishment
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edited by Michael L. Radelet, foreword by Henry Schwarzschild
Between 1930 and 1967, there were 3,859 executions carried out under state and civil authority in the United States. Since the ten-year moratorium on capital punishment ended in 1977, more than one hundred prisoners have been executed. There are more than two thousand men and women now living on death row awaiting their executions. Facing the Death Penalty offers an in-depth examination of what life under a sentence of death is like for condemned inmates and their families, how and why various professionals assist them in their struggle for life, and what these personal experiences with capital punishment tell us about the wisdom of this penal policy.
The contributors include historians, attorneys, sociologists, anthropologists, criminologists, a minister, a philosopher, and three prisoners. One of the prisoner-contributors is Willie Jasper Darden, Jr., whose case and recent execution after fourteen years on death row drew international attention. The inter-disciplinary perspectives offered in this book will not solve the death penalty debate, but they offer important and unique insights on the full effects of American capital punishment provisions. While the book does not set out to generate sympathy for those convicted of horrible crimes, taken together, the essays build a case for abolition of the death penalty.
"This work stands with the best of whatís been written. It represents the best of those who have seen the worst."
Foreword Henry Schwarzschild
Michael L. Radelet is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Florida and co-author of Capital Punishment in America: An Annotated Bibliography.
Contributors: Hugo Adam Bedau, Russell F. Canan, Willie Jasper Darden, Watt Espy, Joseph M. Giarrantano, Joseph B. Ingle, Michael A. Kroll, C. Michael Lambrix, James W. Marquart, Michael Mello, J. Anthony Paredes, Elizabeth D. Purdum, Henry Schwarzschild, Jonathan R. Sorensen, Victor L. Streib, Colin M. Turnbull, Margaret Vandiver, Laurin A. Wollan, Jr., and the editor.