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Vol 21 No 11 Nov/Dec 2016

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Imprisoned by the Past: Warren McCleskey and the American Death Penalty


ISBN13: 9780199967933
Published: February 2015
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £62.00
Paperback edition not yet published, ISBN13 9780190653002



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In 1987, the United States Supreme Court decided a case that could have ended the death penalty in the United States. Imprisoned by the Past: Warren McCleskey and the American Death Penalty examines the long history of the American death penalty and its connection to the case of Warren McCleskey, revealing how that case marked a turning point for the history of the death penalty.

In this book, Jeffrey L. Kirchmeier explores one of the most important Supreme Court cases in history, a case that raised important questions about race and punishment, and ultimately changed the way we understand the death penalty today.

McCleskey's case resulted in one of the most important Supreme Court decisions in U.S. history, where the Court confronted evidence of racial discrimination in the administration of capital punishment. The case currently marks the last time that the Supreme Court had a realistic chance of completely striking down capital punishment.

As such, the case also marked a turning point in the death penalty debate in the country. Going back nearly four centuries, this book connects McCleskey's life and crime to the issues that have haunted the American death penalty debate since the first executions by early settlers through the modern twenty-first century death penalty.

Imprisoned by the Past ties together three unique American stories. First, the book considers the changing American death penalty across centuries where drastic changes have occurred in the last fifty years. Second, the book discusses the role that race played in that history. And third, the book tells the story of Warren McCleskey and how his life and legal case brought together the other two narratives.

Subjects:
Other Jurisdictions , USA
Contents:
Preface
Introduction
Part A - Prologue
Prologue: America's Marietta
Part B - A Killing in Georgia
Chapter 1: A Death in Dixie
Chapter 2: The Trial of Warren McCleskey
Chapter 3: Offie Evans and McCleskey v. Zant
Part C - American Death Penalty History And the Courts
Chapter 4: The First Limits: The Early American Death Penalty through the 1850s
Chapter 5: Wars and Death Penalty Abolition: The Civil War Through Early 1900s
Chapter 6: A Time of Change: American Society and the Death Penalty 1950s through the 1960s
Chapter 7: Into the Courthouse: The 1970s Abolition Strategy
Chapter 8: A New Era: A New U.S. Death Penalty Returns in the Late 1970s
Chapter 9: Starting Over: Executions Resume in the 1970s and 1980s
Part D - Lynching, Race, and McCleskey v. Kemp
Chapter 10: Lynching and Race in America
Chapter 11: Race and the Courts
Chapter 12: Warren McCleskey and the Baldus Study
Chapter 13: The Supreme Court and McCleskey v Kemp
Part E - Execution
Chapter 14: Mitigation and Reform
Chapter 15: Warren McCleskey & the Electric Chair
Chapter 16: Other American Execution Methods
Part F - The Capital Punishment Debate Moves Outside the Courts after McCleskey
Chapter 17: The Unstoppable Death Penalty After McCleskey into the early 1990s
Chapter 18: New Abolitionist Voices in the 1990s
Chapter 19: Innocence and the American Death Penalty
Chapter 20: A Moratorium Movement Emerges in the 1990s
Part G - McCleskey's Legacy in the Early Twenty-First Century
Chapter 21: The Early Twenty-First Century Death Penalty in the Courts
Chapter 22: The Early Twenty-First Century Death Penalty in U.S. Politics
Chapter 23: Escaping from Imprisonment of the Past
Part H - Epilogue
Epilogue: Warren McCleskey's Case and the American Death Penalty Today