America Without the Death Penalty: States Leading the Way

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UPNE, 2005 - Law - 296 pages
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In 2000, Governor George Ryan of Illinois, a Republican and a supporter of the death penalty, declared a moratorium on executions in his state. In 2003 he commuted the death sentences of all Illinois prisoners on death row. Ryan contended that the application of the death penalty in Illinois had been arbitrary and unfair, and he ignited a new round of debate over the appropriateness of execution. Nationwide surveys indicate that the number of Americans who favor the death penalty is declining. As the struggle over capital punishment rages on, twelve states and the District of Columbia have taken bold measures to eliminate the practice. This landmark study is the first to examine the history and motivations of those jurisdictions that abolished capital punishment and have resisted the move to reinstate death penalty statutes.
 

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America without the death penalty: states leading the way

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Twelve states and the District of Columbia do not impose the death penalty. The authors, all sociology professors at American universities, use the case-study method to examine why this is so. The ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
3
Michigans Continuing Abolition of the Death Penalty
11
The Death Penalty and Social Policy in Wisconsin
31
Death Penalty Abolition in Maine
53
Abolition and Attempted Reinstatement in Minnesota
79
The Continuing
100
The History of Death Penalty Abolition in Alaska
116
Race Class
147
Death Penalty Abolition Reinstatement and Abolition
170
The Life and Death of the Death Penalty in West Virginia
190
Summary and Conclusions
206
Epilogue Abolition in the Courts
220
Appendix Data Collection Methods
226
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About the author (2005)

JOHN F. GALLIHER is Professor of Sociology at the University of Missouri-Columbia and former president of the Society for the Study of Social Problems. LARRY W. KOCH is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Michigan-Flint. DAVID P. KEYS is Assistant Professor of Sociology at State University of New York, Plattsburgh. TERESA J. GUESS is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

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