Legal Lynching: The Death Penalty and America's Future

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Anchor Books, Jan 1, 2003 - Law - 208 pages
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The death penalty is one of the most hotly contested issues in America today. Evidence continues to mount that many innocent people have been executed or are currently living on death row, and that minority groups and the poor suffer from a shoddy public defense system and discriminatory application of capital charges. Meanwhile, the myth of deterrence has been revealed to be false, and an increasing number of Americans are beginning to question their support for capital punishment.

Legal Lynching offers a succinct, accessible introduction to the debate over the death penalty's history and future, exposing a chilling frequency of legal error, systemic racial and economic discrimination, and pervasive government misconduct. Thisis an essential book for readers across the political spectrum who wish to cut through the common myths and assumptions about the efficacy and morality of state-sanctioned killing.

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Legal Lynching: The Death Penalty and America's Future

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Taking a more blood-and-guts approach, journalist Solotaroff goes behind the scenes and interviews the executioners who carry out the sentences. He concentrates on Parchman State Penitentiary in ... Read full review


Myths Lies and Deterrence
A Question of Innocence
Victim Rights Versus Vengeance Rights

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abolished abolition abolitionism abolitionists African-American against Al Gore Alabama Alex Kozinski American American Bar Association Anthony Porter anti-capital apartheid appeal attorney Baldwin Barry Scheck Benjamin Rush Brandley Brandley's capital pun capital punishment Center Chicago Tribune Church Clarence Brandley Commission confession Congress Conroe convicted counsel crime criminal Danziger David Protess Dead Man Walking death penalty death sentences death-row inmates debate decades defendants defense lawyers Deterrence theory deterrent district attorney DNA testing electric chair eral evidence execution exonerated fact federal death forensic Gary Gilmore Gary Graham George George McFarland George Ryan George W Georgia Governor Harry Blackmun Hispanic homicide human Human Rights Watch Huntsville Illinois Innocence Project innocent James Liebman Janet Reno Jesse L Jesus John Benn Judge jury Justice Justice Blackmun Justice Powell Karla Faye Karla Faye Tucker Kathleen Kennedy Townsend killer killing Latino lawyers lethal injection Lewis Powell Mario Cuomo Maryland Matthew Shepard McCleskey McFarland McVeigh's Mel Carnahan ment mentally retarded moral absolutes moratorium murder NAACP national moratorium North Carolina Northwestern University Oklahoma Oklahoma City parole Pat Robertson percent peremptory challenges person Peter Neufeld Pharisees Philadelphia police political politicians Porter prison prison-industrial complex prosecutors Quakers question Rabbi Akiba racial racism religious Rickie Ray Rector Rob Warden Roman Catechism Rosazza Ryan Samuel Gross Sanhedrin Schlup Scott Turow state's Tarfon Ted Bundy tence Texas Thurgood Marshall Timothy McVeigh tion trial Tucker U.S. Supreme Court United States attorneys United States Code vengeance victims Waldensians Wanda Jean William Brennan William Kemmler William Rehnquist witnesses wrongful convictions

About the author (2003)

Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. ran for president of the United States in 1984 and 1988. He is the founder and president of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition.

Representative Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. has represented the Second District of Illinois in the United States Congress since 1995.

Bruce Shapiro is a contributing editor at The Nation and a national correspondent for He teaches at Yale University.

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