Skip to main content

The Flow and Ebb of American Capital Punishment

Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)

Capital punishment laws and practices have changed significantly since 1608, when the first recorded execution on American soil was carried out in colonial Jamestown (Harries & Cheatwood, 1997, p. 17). A dozen or more felonies were typically punished by death in the original 13 states, including counterfeiting, burglary, robbery, arson, and others (Bye, 1926, p. 234; Mackey, 1982, pp. 40–41). Death sentences followed automatically on conviction (Bedau, 1982, pp. 9–10). They were carried out publicly, with great fanfare and normally by hanging. Public executions were designed to impress citizens with the state’s power and authority and, accompanied by gallows sermons and often-repentant offenders, to reinforce civic values and the social order (Masur, 1989, pp. 25–49).

Keywords

  • Death Penalty
  • Death Sentence
  • Plurality Opinion
  • Life Imprisonment
  • Defense Counsel

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4419-0245-0_16
  • Chapter length: 21 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   89.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-1-4419-0245-0
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   119.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Notes

  1. 1.

    Within the category of “innocent” persons under sentence of death are those whose capital convictions were overturned and who later were acquitted at a retrial, or had all charges against them dropped, or who were pardoned based on new evidence of their innocence (Death Penalty Information Center, 2008d).

References

  • Abernethy, J. S. (1996.) The methodology of death: Reexamining the deterrence rationale. Columbia Human Rights Law Review, 27, 379–428.

    Google Scholar 

  • Acker, J. R. (1996). When the cheering stopped: An overview and analysis of New York’s death penalty legislation. Pace Law Review, 17, 41–227.

    Google Scholar 

  • Acker, J. R. (2006). The myth of closure and capital punishment. In R. M. Bohm & J. T. Walker (Eds.), Demystifying crime and criminal justice (pp. 167–175). Los Angeles: Roxbury Publishing Company.

    Google Scholar 

  • Acker, J. R. (2008). Scrutinizing the death penalty: State death penalty study commissions and their recommendations. In R. M. Bohm (Ed.), The death penalty today (pp. 29–59). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Acker, J. R., & Lanier, C. S. (1999). Ready for the defense? Legislative provisions governing the appointment of counsel in capital cases. Criminal Law Bulletin, 35, 429–477.

    Google Scholar 

  • Acker, J. R., & Lanier, C. S. (2000). May God—or the Governor—have mercy: Executive clemency and executions in modern death-penalty systems. Criminal Law Bulletin, 36, 200–237.

    Google Scholar 

  • Acker, J. R., & Lanier, C. S. (2003). Beyond human ability? The rise and fall of death penalty legislation. In J. R. Acker, R. M. Bohm, & C. S. Lanier (Eds.), America’s experiment with capital punishment: Reflections on the past, present, and future of the ultimate penal sanction (2d ed., pp. 85–125). Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Armour, M. P., & Umbreit, M. S. (2007). The ultimate penal sanction and “closure” for survivors of homicide victims. Marquette Law Review, 91, 381–424.

    Google Scholar 

  • Atkins v. Virginia. (2002). 536 U.S. 304.

    Google Scholar 

  • Baldus, D. C., & Woodworth, G. G. (2004). Race discrimination and the legitimacy of capital punishment: Reflections on the interaction of fact and perception. DePaul Law Review, 53, 1411–1495.

    Google Scholar 

  • Baldus, D. C., Woodworth, G. G., & Pulaski, C. A., Jr. (1990). Equal justice and the death penalty: A legal and empirical analysis. Boston: Northeastern University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Baldus, D. C., Woodworth, G., Zuckerman, D., Weiner, N. A., & Broffitt, B. (2001). The use of peremptory challenges in capital murder trials: A legal and empirical analysis. University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, 3, 3–170.

    Google Scholar 

  • Banner, S. (2002). The death penalty: An American history. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Barefoot v. Estelle. (1983). 463 U.S. 880.

    Google Scholar 

  • Baze v. Rees. (2008). 128 S.Ct. 1520.

    Google Scholar 

  • Beccaria, C. (1764/1963). On crimes and punishments (Henry Paolucci, Trans.). Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bedau, H. A. (1982). The death penalty in America (3rd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Berk, R. (2005). New claims about executions and general deterrence: Déjà vu all over again? Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 2, 303–330.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Berns, W. (1991). For capital punishment: Crime and the morality of the death penalty. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bessler, J. D. (1997). Death in the dark: Midnight executions in America. Boston: Northeastern University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Blecker, R. (2003). Roots. In J. R. Acker, R. M. Bohm, & C. S. Lanier (Eds.), America’s experiment with capital punishment: Reflections on the past, present, and future of the ultimate penal sanction (2nd ed., pp. 169–231). Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Blecker, R. (2007). But did they listen? The New Jersey Death Penalty Commission’s exercise in abolitionism. Rutgers Journal of Law & Public Policy, 5, 9–85.

    Google Scholar 

  • Blume, J. H., Garvey, S. P., & Johnson, S. L. (2001). Future dangerousness in capital cases: Always “at issue.” Cornell Law Review, 86, 397–410.

    Google Scholar 

  • Blume, J. H., Johnson, S. L., & Threlkeld, A. B. (2001). Probing “life qualification” through expanded voir dire. Hofstra Law Review, 29, 1209–1264.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bohm, R. M. (2003a). The economic costs of capital punishment: Past, present, and future. In J. R. Acker, R. M. Bohm, & C. S. Lanier (Eds.), America’s experiment with capital punishment: Reflections on the past, present, and future of the ultimate penal sanction (2nd ed., pp. 573–594). Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bohm, R. M. (2003b). American death penalty opinion: Past, present, and future. In J. R. Acker, R. M. Bohm, & C. S. Lanier (Eds.), America’s experiment with capital punishment: Reflections on the past, present, and future of the ultimate penal sanction (2nd ed., pp. 27–54). Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bowers, W. J. (1984). Legal homicide: Death as punishment in America, 1864–1982. Boston: Northeastern University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bowers, W. J., Fleury-Steiner, B. D., & Antonio, M. E. (2003). The capital sentencing decision: Guided discretion, reasoned moral judgment, or legal fiction. In J. R. Acker, R. M. Bohm, & C. S. Lanier (Eds.), America’s experiment with capital punishment: Reflections on the past, present, and future of the ultimate penal sanction (2nd ed., pp. 413–467). Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bowers, W. J., Sandys, M. & Brewer, T. W. (2004). Cross racial boundaries: A closer look at the roots of racial bias in capital sentencing when the defendant is black and the victim is white. DePaul Law Review, 53, 1497–1537.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bowers, W. J., & Steiner, B. D. (1999). Death by default: An empirical demonstration of false and forced choices in capital sentencing. Texas Law Review, 77, 605–717.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bowers, W. J., Steiner, B. D., & Sandys, M. (2001). Death sentencing in black and white: An empirical analysis of the role of jurors’ race and jury racial composition. University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, 3, 171–274.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bright, S. B. (1994). Counsel for the poor: The death sentence not for the worst crime but for the worst lawyer. Yale Law Journal, 103, 1835–1883.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Brock, D., Cohen, N. & Sorensen, J. (2000). Arbitrariness in the imposition of death sentences in Texas: An analysis of four counties by offense seriousness, race of victim, and race of offender. American Journal of Criminal Law, 28, 43–71.

    Google Scholar 

  • Burnett, C. (2002). Justice denied: Clemency appeals in death penalty cases. Boston: Northeastern University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bye, R. T. (1926). Recent history and present status of capital punishment in the United States. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 17, 234–245.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Camus, A. (1960). Reflections on the guillotine (J. O’Brien, Trans.). In Resistance, rebellion, and death (pp. 131–179). New York: Modern Library.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cloninger, D. O., & Marchesini, R. (2001). Execution and deterrence: A quasi-controlled group experiment. Applied Economics, 33, 569–576.

    Google Scholar 

  • Coker v. Georgia. (1977). 433 U.S. 584.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cook, P. J., Slawson, D. B., & Gries, L. A. (1993). The costs of processing murder cases in North Carolina. Durham, NC: Terry Sandford Institute of Public Policy, Duke University. Available at http://www.thejusticeproject.org/press/reports/pdfs/21740.pdf. Website consulted March 13, 2008.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cunningham, M. D., Reidy, T. J., & Sorensen, J. R. (2005). Is death row obsolete? A decade of mainstreaming death-sentenced inmates in Missouri. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 23, 307–320.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Cushing, R. R., & Shaffer, S. (2002). Dignity denied: The experience of murder victims’ family members who oppose the death penalty. Cambridge, MA: Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cutler, C. Q. (2002–2003). Nothing less than the dignity of man: Evolving standards, botched executions and Utah’s controversial use of the firing squad. Cleveland State Law Review, 50, 335–424.

    Google Scholar 

  • Death Penalty Information Center. (2008a). Facts about the death penalty. Available at http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/FactSheet.pdf. Web site consulted March 13, 2008.

  • Death Penalty Information Center. (2008b). Executions by year. Available at http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?scid=8&did=146. Web site consulted March 11, 2008.

  • Death Penalty Information Center. (2008c). Life without parole. Available at http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?did=555&scid=59. Web site consulted March 13, 2008.

  • Death Penalty Information Center. (2008d). Innocence: List of those freed from death row. Available at http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?scid=6&did=110. Web site consulted March 21, 2008.

  • Death Penalty Information Center. (2008e). Clemency. Available at http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?did=126&scid=13. Web site consulted March 22, 2008.

  • Death Penalty Information Center. (2008f). Death sentences by year: 1977–2007. Available at http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?scid=9&did=873. Web site consulted April 6, 2008.

  • Death Penalty Information Center. (2008 g). The death penalty: An international perspective. Available at http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?did=127&scid=30#interexec. Web site consulted April 6, 2008.

  • Denno, D. W. (1994). Is electrocution an unconstitutional method of execution? The engineering of death over the century. William and Mary Law Review, 35, 551–692.

    Google Scholar 

  • Denno, D. W. (2007). The lethal injection quandary: How medicine has dismantled the death penalty. Fordham Law Review, 76, 49–128.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dezhbakhsh, H., & Shepherd, J. M. (2006). The deterrent effect of capital punishment: Evidence from a “judicial experiment.” Economic Inquiry, 44, 512–535.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Dieter, R. C. (2007). Costs of the death penalty and related issues: Testimony of Richard C. Dieter, House Bill 1094. Judiciary Committee, Colorado House of Representatives. Denver, CO. Feb. 7. Available at http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/COcosttestimony.pdf. Web site consulted March 13, 2008.

  • Ditchfield, A. (2007). Challenging the intrastate disparities in the application of capital punishment statutes. Georgetown Law Journal, 95, 801–830.

    Google Scholar 

  • Douglas, D. M. (2000). God and the executioner: The influence of Western religion on the death penalty. William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal, 9, 137–170.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dressler, J. (2005). The wisdom and morality of present-day criminal sentencing. Akron Law Review, 38, 853–866.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ellsworth, P. C., & Gross. S. R. (1994). Hardening of the attitudes: Americans’ views on the death penalty. Journal of Social Issues, 50(2), 19–52.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Enmund v. Florida. (1982). 458 U.S. 782.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fagan, J. (2006). Death and deterrence redux: Science, law and capital punishment. Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, 4, 255–321.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fagan, J., Zimring, F. E., & Geller, A. (2006). Capital punishment and capital murder: Market share and the deterrent effects of the death penalty. Texas Law Review, 84, 1803–1867.

    Google Scholar 

  • Feuer, A. (2008). An aversion to the death penalty, but no shortage of cases. New York Times. B1. March 10.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fleischaker, D. (2007). ABA state death penalty assessments: Facts (un)discovered, progress (to be) made, and lessons learned. Human Rights, 34(2), 10–12.

    Google Scholar 

  • Furman v. Georgia. (1972). 408 U.S. 238.

    Google Scholar 

  • Garey, M. (1985). The cost of taking a life: Dollars and sense of the death penalty. University of California at Davis Law Review, 18, 1221–1273.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gerber, R. J. (2004a). Economic and historical implications for capital punishment deterrence. Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy, 18, 437–450.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gerber, R. J. (2004b). Survival mechanisms: How America keeps the death penalty alive. Stanford Law and Policy Review, 15, 363–379.

    Google Scholar 

  • Governor’s Commission on Capital Punishment. (2002). Report of the Governor’s Commission on Capital Punishment. Springfield, IL: State of Illinois. Available at http://www.idoc.state.il.us/ccp/ccp/reports/commission_report/index.html. Web site consulted March 21, 2008.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gregg v. Georgia. (1976). 428 U.S. 153.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gross, S. R., & Matheson, D. J. (2003). What they saw at the end: Capital victims’ families and the press. Cornell Law Review, 88, 486–516.

    Google Scholar 

  • Haney, C. (1984). On the selection of capital juries: The biasing effects of the death-qualification process. Law and Human Behavior, 8, 121–132.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Haney, C. (2005). Death by design: Capital punishment as a social psychological system. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Harding, R. M. (1996). The gallows to the gurney: Analyzing the (un)constitutionality of the methods of execution. Boston University Public Interest Law Journal, 6, 153–176.

    Google Scholar 

  • Harries, K., & Cheatwood, D. (1997). The geography of execution: The capital punishment quagmire in America. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hartung, F. E. (1952). Trends in the use of capital punishment. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 284, 8–19.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Hoffmann, J. L. (2005). Protecting the innocent: The Massachusetts Governor’s Council Report. Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, 95, 561–585.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jacobi, J. S. (2007). Mostly harmless: An analysis of post-AEDPA federal habeas corpus review of state harmless error determinations. Michigan Law Review, 105, 805–836.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jurek v. Texas. (1976). 428 U.S. 262.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kahan, D. M., & Nussbaum, M. C. (1996). Two conceptions of emotion in criminal law. Columbia Law Review, 96, 269–372.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Kansas v. Marsh. (2006). 126 S.Ct. 2516.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kennedy v. Louisiana. (2008). ___ U.S. ___, 2008 WL 2511282.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kennedy, R. (1997). Race, crime, and the law. New York: Vintage Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kimble, M. (2006). My journey and the riddle. In J. R. Acker, R. M. Bohm, & C. S. Lanier (Eds.), America’s experiment with capital punishment: Reflections on the past, present, and future of the ultimate penal sanction (2nd ed., pp. 127–138). Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • King, N. J., Cheesman, F. L., II, & Ostrom, B. J. (2007). Final technical report: Habeas litigation in U.S. District Courts—An empirical study of habeas corpus cases filed by state prisoners under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. Available at http://www.law.vanderbilt.edu/article-search/article-detail/download.aspx?id=1639. Web site consulted March 22, 2008.

  • King, R. (2003). Don’t kill in our names: Families of murder victims speak out against the death penalty. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kirchmeier, J. L. (2002). Another place beyond here: The death penalty moratorium movement in the United States. Colorado Law Review, 73, 1–116.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kittner, G. (2006). Voters support death penalty. Wisconsin State Journal (Nov. 8). Available on Lexis/Nexis Academic.

    Google Scholar 

  • Klein, L. R., Forst, B., & Filatov, V. (1978). The deterrent effect of capital punishment: An assessment of the estimates. In A. Blumstein, J. Cohen, & D. Nagin (Eds.), Deterrence and incapacitation: Estimating the effects of criminal sanctions on crime rates (pp. 336–360). Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kovarsky, L. (2007). AEDPA’s wrecks: Comity, finality, and federalism. Tulane Law Review, 82, 443–507.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lanier, C. S., & Acker, J. R. (2004). Capital punishment, the moratorium movement, and empirical questions: Looking beyond innocence, race, and bad lawyering in death penalty cases. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 10, 577–617.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Liebman, J. S., Fagan, J., & West, V. (2000). A broken system: Error rates in capital cases, 1973–1995. Available at http://www2.law.columbia.edu/instructionalservices/liebman/. Web site consulted March 13, 2008.

  • Lockhart v. McCree. (1986). 476 U.S. 162.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mackey, P. E. (1982). Hanging in the balance: The anti-capital punishment movement in New York State, 1776–1861. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc.

    Google Scholar 

  • Madow, M. (1995). Forbidden spectacle: Executions, the public and the press in nineteenth century New York. Buffalo Law Review, 43, 461–562.

    Google Scholar 

  • Markman, S. J., & Cassell, P. G. (1988). Protecting the innocent: A response to the Bedau-Radelet study. Stanford Law Review, 41, 121–160.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Marquis, J. (2005). The myth of innocence. Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, 95, 501–521.

    Google Scholar 

  • Masur, L. P. (1989). Rites of execution: Capital punishment and the transformation of American culture, 1776–1865. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • McCleskey v. Kemp. (1987). 481 U.S. 279.

    Google Scholar 

  • McGautha v. California. (1971). 402 U.S. 183.

    Google Scholar 

  • Meltsner, M. (1973). Cruel and unusual: The Supreme Court and capital punishment. New York: Random House.

    Google Scholar 

  • Miller-El v. Dretke. (2005). 545 U.S. 231.

    Google Scholar 

  • Morgan v. Illinois. (1992). 504 U.S. 719.

    Google Scholar 

  • New Jersey Death Penalty Study Commission. (2007). New Jersey Death Penalty Study Commission report. Trenton, NJ: State of New Jersey. Available at http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/committees/dpsc_final.pdf. Website consulted March 13, 2008.

    Google Scholar 

  • Note. (2006). A matter of life and death: The effect of life-without-parole statutes on capital punishment. Harvard Law Review, 119, 1838–1854.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pastore, A. L., & Maguire, K. (Eds.) (2003). Sourcebook of criminal justice statistics [Online]. Available at http://www.albany.edu/sourcebook/. Website consulted March 18, 2008.

  • Paternoster, R., Brame, R., Bacon, S., Ditchfield, A., Biere, D., Beckman, K., et al. (2003). An empirical analysis of Maryland’s death sentencing system with respect to the influence of race and legal jurisdiction: Final report. College Park, MD: University of Maryland. Available at http://www.newsdesk.umd.edu/pdf.finalrep.pdf. Website consulted March 19, 2008.

    Google Scholar 

  • Peterson, R. D., & Bailey, W. C. (2003). Is capital punishment an effective deterrent for murder? An examination of social science research. In J. R. Acker, R. M. Bohm, & C. S. Lanier (Eds.), America’s experiment with capital punishment: Reflections on the past, present, and future of the ultimate penal sanction (2nd ed., pp. 251–282). Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pogarsky, G. (2002). Identifying “deterrable” offenders: Implications for research on deterrence. Justice Quarterly, 19, 431–452.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Proctor, G. (2006–2007). Reevaluating capital punishment: The fallacy of a foolproof system, the focus on reform, and the international factor. Gonzaga Law Review, 42, 211–255.

    Google Scholar 

  • Proffitt v. Florida. (1976). 428 U.S. 242.

    Google Scholar 

  • Radelet M. L., & Akers, R. L. (1996). Deterrence and the death penalty: The views of the experts. Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, 87, 1–16.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Radelet, M. L., & Borg, M. J. (2000). The changing nature of death penalty debates. Annual Review of Sociology, 26, 43–61.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Radelet, M. L., & Stanley, D. (2006). Learning from homicide co-victims: A university-based project. In J. R. Acker & D. R. Karp (Eds.), Wounds that do not bind: Victim-based perspectives on the death penalty (pp. 397–409). Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ring v. Arizona. (2002). 536 U.S. 584.

    Google Scholar 

  • Roberts v. Louisiana. (1976). 428 U.S. 325.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rompilla v. Beard. (2005). 545 U.S. 374.

    Google Scholar 

  • Roper v. Simmons. (2005). 543 U.S. 551.

    Google Scholar 

  • Roper, S. (2006). Finding hope: One family’s journey. In J. R. Acker & D. R. Karp (Eds.), Wounds that do not bind: Victim-based perspectives on the death penalty (pp. 111–125). Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rosenbluth, S., & Rosenbluth, P. (2006). Accidental death is fate, murder is pure evil. In J. R. Acker & D. R. Karp (Eds.), Wounds that do not bind: Victim-based perspectives on the death penalty (pp. 103–109). Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rothman, D. J. (1971). The discovery of the asylum: Social order and disorder in the new republic. Boston: Little, Brown and Co.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sandys, M., & McClelland, S. (2003). Stacking the deck for guilt and death: The failure of death qualification to ensure impartiality. In J. R. Acker, R. M. Bohm, & C. S. Lanier (Eds.), America’s experiment with capital punishment: Reflections on the past, present, and future of the ultimate penal sanction (2nd ed., pp. 385–411). Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sarat, A. (2001). When the state kills: Capital punishment and the American condition. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sarat, A. (2008). Memorializing miscarriages of justice: Clemency petitions in the killing state. Law and Society Review, 42, 183–224.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Shepherd, J. M. (2005). Deterrence versus brutalization: Capital punishment’s differing impacts among states. Michigan Law Review, 104, 203–249.

    Google Scholar 

  • Snell, T. (2006) Capital punishment, 2005. (2005). Washington DC: United States Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.

    Google Scholar 

  • Songer, M. J., & Unah, I. (2006). The effect of race, gender, and location on prosecutorial decisions to seek the death penalty in South Carolina. South Carolina Law Review, 58, 161–209.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sorensen, J., & Marquart, J. (2003). Future dangerousness and incapacitation. In J. R. Acker, R. M. Bohm, & C. S. Lanier (Eds.), America’s experiment with capital punishment: Reflections on the past, present, and future of the ultimate penal sanction (2nd ed., pp. 283–300). Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sorensen, J. R., & Pilgrim, R. L. (2000). An actuarial risk assessment of violence posed by capital murder defendants. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 90, 1251–1270.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Steiker, C. S., & Steiker, J. M. (1992). Let God sort them out? Refining the individualization requirement in capital sentencing. [Review of the book, Crossed over: A murder, a memoir]. Yale Law Journal, 102, 835–870.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Steiker, C. S., & Steiker, J. M. (2003). Judicial developments in capital punishment law. In J. R. Acker, R. M. Bohm, & C. S. Lanier (Eds.), America’s experiment with capital punishment: Reflections on the past, present, and future of the ultimate penal sanction (2nd ed., pp. 55–83). Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stephen, J. F. (1863). A general view of the criminal law of England. London: MacMillan.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sundby, S. E. (2006). The death penalty’s future: Charting the crosscurrents of declining death sentences and the McVeigh factor. Texas Law Review, 84, 1929–1972.

    Google Scholar 

  • Thompson, W. C., Cowan, C. L., Ellsworth, P. C., & Harrington, J. C. (1984). Death penalty attitudes and conviction proneness: The translation of attitudes into verdicts. Law and Human Behavior, 8, 93–113.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Tilghman, A. (2003). Costly price of capital punishment: Restoration of the death penalty in New York State has cost $160 million as wheels of justice turn slowly. Albany Times Union, A1, Sept. 21.

    Google Scholar 

  • United States v. Quinones. (2002). 205 F.Supp.2d 256 (S.D.N.Y.), rev’d, 313 F.3d 49 (2d. Cir. 2002), reh. den., 317 F.3d 86 (2d Cir. 2003), cert. den., 540 U.S. 1051 (2003).

    Google Scholar 

  • United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. (2007). Capital punishment, 2006—Statistical tables. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice. Available at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/html/cp/2006/cp06st.pdf. Web site consulted April 6, 2008.

    Google Scholar 

  • United States General Accounting Office. (1990). Death penalty sentencing: Resource indicates pattern of racial disparities. Washington, DC: U.S. General Accounting Office.

    Google Scholar 

  • Van den Haag, E. (1978). In defense of the death penalty: A legal-practical-moral analysis. Criminal Law Bulletin, 14, 51–68.

    Google Scholar 

  • Van den Haag, E., & Conrad, J. P. (1983). The death penalty: A debate. New York: Plenum Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Vandiver, M. (1993). The quality of mercy: Race and clemency in Florida death penalty cases, 1924–1966. University of Richmond Law Review, 27, 315–343.

    Google Scholar 

  • Vandiver, M. (2006a). The death penalty and the families of victims: An overview of research issues. In J. R. Acker & D. R. Karp (Eds.), Wounds that do not bind: Victim-based perspectives on the death penalty (pp. 235–252). Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Vandiver, M. (2006b). Lethal punishment: Lynchings and legal executions in the South. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wagner, S. (2006). The death sentence: For criminals or victims? In J. R. Acker & D. R. Karp (Eds.), Wounds that do not bind: Victim-based perspectives on the death penalty (pp. 69–83). Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wainwright v. Witt. (1985). 469 U.S. 412.

    Google Scholar 

  • Warden, Rob. (2005). Illinois death penalty reform: How it happened, what it promises. Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, 95, 381–426.

    Google Scholar 

  • Welch, B. (2002). Speaking out against the execution of Timothy McVeigh. In D. R. Dow, & M. Dow (Eds.). Machinery of death: The reality of America’s death penalty regime (pp. 275–281). New York: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wiggins v. Smith. (2003). 539 U.S. 510.

    Google Scholar 

  • Williams, K. (2005). Ensuring the capital defendant’s right to competent counsel: It’s time for some standards! Wayne Law Review, 51, 129–161.

    Google Scholar 

  • Winick, B. J. (1982). Prosecutorial peremptory challenge practices in capital cases: An empirical study and a constitutional analysis. Michigan Law Review, 81, 1–98.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Woodson v. North Carolina. (1976). 428 U.S. 280.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zimring, F. E. (2003). The contradictions of American capital punishment. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zimring, F. E., & Hawkins, G. (1986). Capital punishment and the American agenda. New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zuanich, B. (2006). Good intentions are not enough: The argument against a higher standard of proof in capital cases. Suffolk Journal of Trial and Appellate Advocacy, 11, 221–241.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Acker, J.R. (2009). The Flow and Ebb of American Capital Punishment. In: Krohn, M., Lizotte, A., Hall, G. (eds) Handbook on Crime and Deviance. Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0245-0_16

Download citation