The Elgar Companion to Capital Punishment and Society

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The Elgar Companion to Capital Punishment and Society

9781803929149 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Benjamin Fleury-Steiner, Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, University of Delaware and Austin Sarat, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science, Amherst College, US
Publication Date: September 2024 ISBN: 978 1 80392 914 9 Extent: c 448 pp
The Elgar Companion to Capital Punishment and Society presents a multidisciplinary overview of capital punishment’s influences, processes and outcomes across society. A global range of philosophers, social scientists, legal experts, political theorists and historians critically analyse the trajectory of the death penalty in both retentionist and abolitionist countries, underscoring how state killing remains a crucial issue worldwide.

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The Elgar Companion to Capital Punishment and Society presents a multidisciplinary overview of capital punishment’s influences, processes and outcomes across society. A global range of philosophers, social scientists, legal experts, political theorists and historians critically analyse the trajectory of the death penalty in both retentionist and abolitionist countries, underscoring how state killing remains a crucial issue worldwide.

The volume lays out the philosophical justifications for and against capital punishment, before examining the practicalities of the death penalty, including the roles of numerous legal actors before, during, and after a capital trial. Chapters assess the outcomes of the death penalty, documenting racial biases and erroneous sentences, as well as exploring exonerations and Life Without Parole. Finally, expert scholars compare the current status of capital punishment in 12 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, Central America and the Middle East, presenting nuanced perspectives on the topic from different cultural and political viewpoints.

This comprehensive Companion is a vital resource for students and scholars of criminology, criminal law and justice, law and society, and legal history. The discussions on cutting-edge legal questions surrounding the death penalty will also appeal to defence lawyers, non-governmental organisations, and advocates working in the field.
Critical Acclaim
‘This comprehensive resource is an ambitious effort to describe the many complexities of the death penalty, the questions it provokes, and the people it affects. There are no easy answers here, but the authors provide context and scholarship that skillfully inform the debate. This is a valuable compendium for students and teachers who are interested in understanding why the oldest and most severe form of punishment continues to find popular support and use in modern day.’
– Robin M. Maher, Death Penalty Information Center and The George Washington University Law School, US
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