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Research Guides

Capital Punishment

"McCleskey v. Kemp: Race, Capital Punishment, and the Supreme Court

Kennedy, Randall. Harvard Law Review. (110(7), May 1998, 1388-1443)

Abolition of the death penalty in international law

Schabas, William. (3rd ed., Cambridge University Press, 2002)
McNichols Campus Library
K 5104 .S33 1997

Available in print or online through the ebrary database (students, faculty and staff only).

Atkins v. Virginia

U.S. Supreme Court.

U.S. Supreme Court opinion that mentally retarded criminals should not receive the death penalty.

At the death house door

Pickett, Carroll. (Facets Multimedia, 2009)
HV 8699 .U6 T43 2009 DVD

1 DVD (98 minutes).

Summary: "An intimate look at the death penalty in the state of Texas through the eyes of Pastor Carroll Pickett, who served 15 years as the death house chaplain to the infamous 'Walls' prison unit in Huntsville. During Pickett's remarkable career he presided over 95 executions, including the world's first lethal injection. After each execution, Pickett recorded an audiotape account of his trip to the death chamber."

Capital punishment and Roman Catholic moral tradition

Brugger, E. Christian. (University of Notre Dame Press, 2003)
McNichols Campus Library
HV 8694 .B78 2003

Capital punishment on trial: Furman v. Georgia and the death penalty in modern America

Oshinksy, David M.. (University Press of Kansas, 2010)
McNichols Campus Library
KF 9227 .C2 O82 2010

Contradictions of American capital punishment

Zimring, Franklin E.. (Oxford University Press, 2003)
McNichols Campus Library
HV 8699 .U5 Z563 2003

Available in print or online through the ebrary database (students, faculty and staff only).

Conviction of the innocent : lessons from psychological research

Cutler, Brian L.. (American Psychological Association, 2012)
McNichols Campus Library
HV 7419 .C692 2012

Crime and punishment : how intelligent do you have to be to be put to death?

Donvan, John; Bury, Chris. (Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 2002)
McNichols Campus Library
HV 8699 .U5 C75 2002 DVD

1 DVD (23 minutes).

Originally aired on ABC's Nightline program, July 11, 2002.
Summary: "Discusses the case of convicted murderer John Paul Penry that prompted the Supreme Court's ruling that executing prisoners who are mentally retarded is unconstitutional."

Dead certainty : the death penalty and the problem of judgment

Culbert, Jennifer Louise. (Stanford University Press, 2008)
McNichols Campus Library
HV 8699 .U5 C86 2008

  • Judgment and metaphysics : American capital punishment jurisprudence and Friedrich Nietzsche's history of an error
  • The promise of reliability and the twin objectives of the capital punishment system
  • The consolation of common sense in the regulation of capital punishment
  • The cockcrow of positivism : "normal" culpability in capital punishment jurisprudence
  • The impact of Payne : the return of sense to capital punishment jurisprudence
  • The end of error : DNA technology and the decision not to decide in capital cases
  • The experience of judgment

Death penalty : an American history

Banner, Stuart. (Harvard University Press, 2002)

Available online only.

Death penalty : an overview

Cornell University Law School Legal Information Institute.

An overview of Supreme Court decisions on the death penalty.

Death penalty : a worldwide perspective

Hood, Roger G.. (3rd ed., Oxford University Press, 2002)
McNichols Campus Library
HV 8694 .H657 2002

Death penalty today

Bohm, Robert M. (CRC Press, 2002)
KF 9227 .C2 D43 2008

Available in print and online.

Debating the death penalty : should America have capital punishment? : The experts on both sides make their best case

Bedau, Hugo Adam; Cassell, Paul G.. (Oxford University Press, 2004)
McNichols Campus Library
HV 8699 .U5 D635 2004

Available in print or online through the ebrary database (students, faculty and staff only).

Deterrence and the death penalty

Nagin, Daniel S.; Pepper, John V. (eds.).. (National Academies Press, 2011)

Available online only.  This report by the National Research Council " assesses whether the available evidence provides a scientific basis for answering questions of if and how the death penalty affects homicide rates." (from the website).

Ethics of medical involvement in capital punishment : a philosophical discussion

Gaie, Joseph B. R.. (Kluwer Academic, 2004)
R 724 .G325 2004

Fairer death : executing women in Ohio

Streib, Victor L.. (Ohio University Press, 2006))

Available online through the ebrary database (students, faculty and staff only).

Figures on the death penalty

Amnesty International.

This website by Amnesty International, a staunch death penalty opposer, includes annual numbers of death sentences and executions by country.  It also includes information on international resolutions and moratoriums on the death penalty.

Fourteen days in May

Barraclough, Jenny; Hamann, Paul; Wicker, Tom. (Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 1998)
McNichols Campus Library
HV 8694 .F68 1998

One VHS cassette (88 minutes).

"In May 1987, Edward Earl Johnson was executed at Parchman Penitentiary in Mississippi. This program, set in the days immediately preceding and following Johnson's death in the gas chamber, focuses on the legal mechanism for execution and the intense ethical debate surrounding it. Johnson is interviewed at length. Questions arising from that interview explore such issues as whether the death penalty is ever justified, whether it is disproportionately used against minorities, and whether legal avenues of appeal are sufficient, or overly-weighted in favor of criminals."

Gallup: Death penalty

This website includes numbers from polls of U.S. residents from 1936 to the present showing the number of people who support the death penalty, whether or not people thought it was applied too often, whether or not it acts as a crime deterrent, and whether or not it should apply to juveniles, women, mentally ill individuals or mentally retarded individuals.

Gregg v. Georgia

U.S. Supreme Court.

U.S. Supreme Court opinion that reinstated the Death Penalty (with conditions) and included the following:
"The punishment of death for the crime of murder does not, under all circumstances, violate the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments."

Invitation to an execution: a history of the death pentaly in the United States

Bakken, Gordon Morris. (University of New Mexico Press, 2010)

Killing as punishment : reflections on the death penalty in America

Bedau, Hugo Adam. (Northeastern University Press, 2004)
McNichols Campus Library
HV 8699 .U5 B43 2004

Less guilty by reason of adolescence : Developmental immaturity, diminished responsibility, and the juvenile death penalty

Steinberg, Laurence; Scott, Elizabeth S.. American Psychologist. (58(12), Dec. 2003, 1009-1013)

Roper v. Simmons

U.S. Supreme Court.

U.S. Supreme Court opinion forbidding the "imposition of the death penalty on offenders who were under the age of 18 when their crimes were committed."

Vanderbilt Law School Dealth Pentaly Debate
Click here to play video


Online video (55 minutes).

"Dr. Ken Haas of the University of Delaware and Joshua Marquis, District Attorney of Clatsop County, Oregon, debate the topic of capital punishment. Dr. Ken Haas of the University of Delaware advocates a view that the death penalty should be abolished in the United States. Joshua Marquis, who has served as District Attorney of Clatsop County (Astoria), Oregon argues for the death penalty."

Wrongful death sentences : rethinking justice in capital cases

Burnett, Cathleen. (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2010)
McNichols Campus Library
KF 9227 .C2 B87 2010

Cindy Gilham

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