Invitation to an Execution: A History of the Death Penalty in the United States

Front Cover
Gordon Morris Bakken
University of New Mexico Press, 2010 - Political Science - 467 pages
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Until the early twentieth century, printed invitations to executions issued by lawmen were a vital part of the ritual of death concluding a criminal proceeding in the United States. In this study, Gordon Morris Bakken invites readers to an understanding of the death penalty in America with a collection of essays that trace the history and politics of this highly charged moral, legal, and cultural issue. Bakken has solicited essays from historians, political scientists, and lawyers to ensure a broad treatment of the evolution of American cultural attitudes about crime and capital punishment.

Part one of this extensive analysis focuses on politics, legal history, multicultural issues, and the international aspects of the death penalty. Part two offers a regional analysis with essays that put death penalty issues into a geographic and cultural context. Part three focuses on specific states with emphasis on the need to understand capital punishment in terms of state law development, particularly because states determine on whom the death penalty will be imposed. Part four examines the various means of death, from hanging to lethal injection, in state law case studies. And finally, part five focuses on the portrayal of capital punishment in popular culture.

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Contents

Conflicts of Interest Business Death and the Bird Court
25
Fear Capital Punishment and Order The Construction
47
Murder Most Foul Native Americans and the Evolution
61
The Death Penalty in Federal Law Lonnie Wilson
77
Ovines and Bovines Ion Puschila
97
Amnesty International and the Death Penalty
115
The Celluloid Execution Hollywood Films
137
Introduction II Gordon Morris Bakken
193
The Death Penalty in the Pacific Northwest
265
To Do No Harm Medicine and the Death Penalty in England
285
Means of Death Methods of Execution in California
321
Capital Punishment and Executions in Montana
339
The Death Penalty in Arizona and New Mexico
353
Arkansas and Missouri The Death Penalty
373
Capital Punishment and Corporal Punishment in
389
Vigilantism during the Gold Rush
403

The Death Penalty in the North Dino E Buenviaje
215
The Death Penalty in the MidwtSt
227
The Death Penalty in the Great Plains
243
The Death Penalty in California 18571970
413
Capital Punishment Suggested Reading Catherine Kaye
431
Copyright

About the author (2010)

Gordon Morris Bakken earned B.S., M.S., Ph.D., and J.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin. He teaches courses on American legal and constitutional history, westward movement, American military heritage, women of the American West, women and American law, as well as historical thinking and historical writing at California State University, Fullerton. He is the author or editor of numerous books including Icons of the American West: From Cowgirls to Silicon Valley.

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