DeathQuest, 4th Edition

An Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Capital Punishment in the United States

DeathQuest, 4th Edition,Robert Bohm,ISBN9781437734935






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A complete, balanced, evidence-based exploration of capital punishment in the United States!

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Key Features

  • Comprehensive, unbiased review of developments in death penalty law and procedure, including new case law on death-eligible crimes and execution by lethal injection
  • Current data on costs, miscarriages of justice, discriminatory application, religion, and death penalty public opinion
  • Analysis of new research regarding the effectiveness of the death penalty in terms of deterrence, retribution, and incapacitation


This fourth edition of the first true textbook on the death penalty engages the reader with a full account of the arguments and issues surrounding capital punishment. The book begins with the history of the death penalty from colonial to modern times, and then examines the moral and legal arguments for and against capital punishment. It also provides an overview of major Supreme Court decisions and describes the legal process behind the death penalty. In addressing these issues, the author reviews recent developments in death penalty law and procedure, including ramifications of newer case law, such as that regarding using lethal injection as a method of execution. The author’s motivation has been to understand what motivates the "deathquest" of the American people, leading a large percentage of the public to support the death penalty. The book will educate readers so that whatever their death penalty opinions are, they are informed ones.


Criminal justice undergraduate and graduate students, as well as social science and law students

Robert Bohm

Robert M. Bohm is a professor at the University of Central Florida Department of Criminal Justice. A prolific author and speaker, Professor Bohm’s work has appeared in numerous publications. He is a frequent presenter and speaker at meetings and seminars of a variety of professional associations, including the American Society of Criminology, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and the Southern Criminal Justice Association. Professor Bohm is a past-president (1992-93) and Fellow (1999) of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, from which he has also received the Founder’s Award (2001) and the Bruce Smith, Sr. Award (2008).

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Central Florida

DeathQuest, 4th Edition

1. History of the Death Penalty in the United States: The Pre-Modern Period (1608-1972)

2. Capital Punishment and the Supreme Court: The Pre-Modern Period

3. The Challenge to Capital Punishment's Legality

4. Capital Punishment and the Supreme Court: The Modern Period

5. The Death Penalty at the Federal Level, in the Military, and Globally

6. Methods of Execution

7. General Deterrence and the Death Penalty

8. Incapacitation and Economic Costs of Capital Punishment

9. Miscarriages of Justice and the Death Penalty

10. Arbitrariness and Discrimination in the Administration of the Death Penalty

11. Retribution, Religion, and Capital Punishment

12. American Death Penalty Opinion

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