Is the Death Penalty Dying?: European and American Perspectives

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Austin Sarat, Jürgen Martschukat
Cambridge University Press, Jan 31, 2011 - Law
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Is the Death Penalty Dying? provides a careful analysis of the historical and political conditions that shaped death penalty practice on both sides of the Atlantic from the end of World War II to the twenty-first century. This book examines and assesses what the United States can learn from the European experience with capital punishment, especially the trajectory of abolition in different European nations. As a comparative sociology and history of the present, the book seeks to illuminate the way death penalty systems and their dissolution work, by means of eleven chapters written by an interdisciplinary group of authors from the United States and Europe. This work will help readers see how close the United States is to ending capital punishment and some of the cultural and institutional barriers that stand in the way of abolition.

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About the author (2011)

Austin Sarat is William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science at Amherst College and Justice Hugo L. Black Visiting Senior Faculty Scholar at the University of Alabama School of Law. He is author or editor of more than seventy books, including When the State Kills: Capital Punishment and the American Condition; Something to Believe In: Politics, Professionalism, and Cause Lawyers (with Stuart Scheingold); The Blackwell Companion to Law and Society; and most recently The Road to Abolition?: The Future of Capital Punishment in the United States (with Charles Ogletree, Jr). Sarat is editor of the journal Law, Culture and the Humanities and of Studies in Law, Politics and Society. In 2009 he received the Stan Wheeler Award from the Law and Society Association for distinguished teaching and mentoring.

Jürgen Martschukat is a Professor of History at Erfurt University. He was formerly an Assistant Professor at Hamburg University (1993–2001) and recipient of the opus magnum-fellowship of the German 'pro-humanities' foundation. He has published several books, edited volumes, and numerous articles on the history of violence and the death penalty in Europe and the United States from the seventeenth century to the present. In 2002, he was awarded the David Thelen Prize from the Organization of American Historians for his article on the 'Art of Killing by Electricity'. In 2007, he was a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, working on a project on race and capital punishment.

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