- 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.