Wrongful Capital Convictions and the Legitimacy of the Death Penalty

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LFB Scholarly Pub. LLC, Jan 1, 2006 - Law - 185 pages
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The American system of capital punishment is facing a legitimacy crisis due to a large number of death row exonerations in recent years. In the wake of these exonerations, the number of new death sentences shrank to a 30 year low and surveys have revealed a decrease in public support for capital punishment. This book describes the crisis confronting the system and explores how newspaper reports of 29 exonerations functioned to legitimize and relegitimize the death penalty in light of these delegitimating forces. By applying Habermas' theory of legitimation crisis through narrative and qualitative content analysis, this book represents a new approach to media research.

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Investigating the Issues
The Cases in the News
Legitimizing the Death Penalty

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About the author (2006)

Karen Miller is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Eastern Kentucky University. She received a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Kentucky. Her research and teaching interests include: wrongful convictions, capital punishment, juvenile justice, policing, and reproductive privacy.

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