Courting Death: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment

Courting Death The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment Unique among Western democracies in refusing to eradicate the death penalty the United States has attempted instead to reform and rationalize state death penalty practices through federal constitutio

  • Title: Courting Death: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment
  • Author: Carol S. Steiker Jordan M. Steiker
  • ISBN: 9780674737426
  • Page: 419
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Unique among Western democracies in refusing to eradicate the death penalty, the United States has attempted instead to reform and rationalize state death penalty practices through federal constitutional law Courting Death traces the unusual and distinctive history of top down judicial regulation of capital punishment under the Constitution and its unanticipated consequenUnique among Western democracies in refusing to eradicate the death penalty, the United States has attempted instead to reform and rationalize state death penalty practices through federal constitutional law Courting Death traces the unusual and distinctive history of top down judicial regulation of capital punishment under the Constitution and its unanticipated consequences for our time.In the 1960s and 1970s, in the face of widespread abolition of the death penalty around the world, provisions for capital punishment that had long fallen under the purview of the states were challenged in federal courts The U.S Supreme Court intervened in two landmark decisions, first by constitutionally invalidating the death penalty in Furman v Georgia 1972 on the grounds that it was capricious and discriminatory, followed four years later by restoring it in Gregg v Georgia 1976 Since then, by neither retaining capital punishment in unfettered form nor abolishing it outright, the Supreme Court has created a complex regulatory apparatus that has brought executions in many states to a halt, while also failing to address the problems that led the Court to intervene in the first place.While execution chambers remain active in several states, constitutional regulation has contributed to the death penalty s new fragility In the next decade or two, Carol Steiker and Jordan Steiker argue, the fate of the American death penalty is likely to be sealed by this failed judicial experiment Courting Death illuminates both the promise and pitfalls of constitutional regulation of contentious social issues.

    One thought on “Courting Death: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment”

    1. I've been procrastinating on writing a review for this, obviously the death penalty is a nuanced and multifaceted topic that elicits strong emotions. However, this book was so exhaustive that I feel like I do it a disservice by failing to suggest it as one of the premier books on the subject (within my limited knowledge). I learned a lot from the book, which does a good job of explaining the doctrinal changes between Furman and to Gregg as well as the real world politics of the decision, interes [...]

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