Murder Stories: Ideological Narratives in Capital Punishment
Murder Stories engages with the current theoretical debate in death penalty research on the role of cultural commitments to American ideologies in the retention of capital punishment. The central aim of the study is to illuminate the elusive yet powerful role of ideology in legal discourses. Through analyzing the content and processes of death penalty narratives, this research illuminates the covert life of the American Creed, (a nexus of ideologies liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, populism, and laissez faire said to be unique to the United States) in the law. Murder Stories draws on the entire record of California death sentence resulting trials from three large and diverse California counties for the years 1996 2004, as well as interviews with 26 capital caseworkers (attorneys, judges, and investigators) from the same counties. Employing the theoretical framework proposed by Ewick and Silbey (1995) to study hegemonic and subversive narratives, and also the ethnographic approach advocated by Amsterdam and Hertz (1992) to study the producers and processes of constructing legal narratives, this book traces the ideological content carried within the stories told by everyday practitioners of capital punishment by investigating the content, process, and ideological implications of these narratives. The central theoretical finding is that the narratives constructed by both prosecutors and defenders tend to instantiate rather than subvert the ideological tenets of the American Creed."
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Chapter 01 Capital Punishment Conflicts Narrativity Hegemony and Resistance
Chapter 02 The American Creed and American Capital Punishment
Chapter 03 Death Especially Deregulated
Chapter 04 The American Creed in Prosecutor and Defender Narratives
Chapter 05 Forgetting the Future
Chapter 06 Facts and Furies
Other editions - View all
abolition Adult White aggravating American Creed American Exceptionalism analyzed argued argument California capital defendants capital punishment capital trials cause lawyers chapter character chose client committed complex conceptualization County court crime cultural data set death penalty narratives death sentence defendant narratives defendant’s defense’s delineated described diminished autonomy discourses discussed drugs dystopia egalitarianism evidence Ewick and Silbey example execution explicitly factors facts Fleury-Steiner Garland guided discretion guilt phase harsh hegemony Hispanic human ideologies individualism individualistic inherently interviews Jamie John John’s jurors jury jury instructions killing law’s LWOP Martinez mens rea mental illness methamphetamine mitigation murder narratologists notion particular penalty phase person political prison prosecution narrative prosecution’s question race racial racism rational retribution Sarat social history society sociolegal sociopath subversive stories themes theory there’s tion transcripts Trial 13 trial defenders U.S. retention United vigilante vigilante values violence White Female Adult White Male Whitman Zimring Zimring’s