Kiss of death: America's love affair with the death penalty
Few Issues Provoke such intense feelings and strongly held views as does capital punishment. In Kiss of Death, John D. Bessler skillfully interweaves the powerful life stories of death row prisoners, his own experiences as a pro bono attorney on death penalty cases in Texas, and historical perspective to persuade the reader that state-sanctioned executions must be abolished in the United States. Bessler's compelling, well-crafted narrative asks if capital punishment has less to do with crime control and more to do with vengeance and swift retribution--an eye-for-an-eye, a tooth-for-a-tooth. The author argues convincingly that the death penalty is just another form of violence in an already too-violent society. He contends that sentencing capital offenders to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole is the best way to meet the needs of public safety while breaking the self-destructive cycle of violence. Placing the nation's complex, ever-changing relationship with capital punishment within legal, cultural, and historical contexts, Bessler dispels myths about the death penalty and addresses such subjects as racial discrimination in capital cases, wrongful convictions, the prominent role of guns in American life and in homicides, the issue of deterrence versus brutalization, the impact of executions on corrections officers and others in the criminal justice system, and the worldwide movement toward abolition. Also included is a call for televised executions as a means of exposing the reality of capital punishment to the public. Kiss of Death brings a fresh yet reasoned approach to an emotionally charged and highly contentious debate. It shows why people should care--in fact, beoutraged--that government-sponsored killings are still taking place today.
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5th Cir Abilene Reporter-News abolished abuse America's death penalty American asked attorney Bessler Blackmun Briley brothers Burrell Burrell's Bush capital punishment Clifton Belyeu convicted killers countries Crim criminal cutions death penalty laws death row inmates Death Row U.S.A. death sentences defendants Deterrence dissenting Eighth Amendment escape executioners federal firearms Florida Furman Gunsby Gunsby's Gurule Gurule's habeas corpus homicide rates Human Rights Hutchinson innocent James Liebman judges June jurors jury Justice killing lawyer lethal injection life-without-parole sentences lives lynchings Martin Gurule McVeigh mentally Minneapolis Minnesota murder rate parole Paul Pioneer Press Penalty in America penalty's percent Pincus polls prosecutors rape ruled Russ Feingold says sentenced to death Star Trib state-sanctioned story supra note television terrorists Texas Texas Executes Timothy McVeigh tion trial U.S. Supreme Court United victims violence violent crime violent offenders Virginia witnesses