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Let the Lord Sort Them

Author : Maurice Chammah
Publisher : Crown
Release : 2021-01-26
Category : Law
ISBN : 9781524760274

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Book Let the Lord Sort Them Description/Summary:

NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS’ CHOICE • A deeply reported, searingly honest portrait of the death penalty in Texas—and what it tells us about crime and punishment in America “Remarkably intimate, fair-minded, and trustworthy reporting on the people arguing over the fate of human life.”—Robert Kolker, New York Times bestselling author of Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family WINNER OF THE J. ANTHONY LUKAS WORK-IN-PROGRESS AWARD In 1972, the United States Supreme Court made a surprising ruling: the country's death penalty system violated the Constitution. The backlash was swift, especially in Texas, where executions were considered part of the cultural fabric, and a dark history of lynching was masked by gauzy visions of a tough-on-crime frontier. When executions resumed, Texas quickly became the nationwide leader in carrying out the punishment. Then, amid a larger wave of criminal justice reform, came the death penalty’s decline, a trend so durable that even in Texas the punishment appears again close to extinction. In Let the Lord Sort Them, Maurice Chammah charts the rise and fall of capital punishment through the eyes of those it touched. We meet Elsa Alcala, the orphaned daughter of a Mexican American family who found her calling as a prosecutor in the nation's death penalty capital, before becoming a judge on the state's highest court. We meet Danalynn Recer, a lawyer who became obsessively devoted to unearthing the life stories of men who committed terrible crimes, and fought for mercy in courtrooms across the state. We meet death row prisoners—many of them once-famous figures like Henry Lee Lucas, Gary Graham, and Karla Faye Tucker—along with their families and the families of their victims. And we meet the executioners, who struggle openly with what society has asked them to do. In tracing these interconnected lives against the rise of mass incarceration in Texas and the country as a whole, Chammah explores what the persistence of the death penalty tells us about forgiveness and retribution, fairness and justice, history and myth. Written with intimacy and grace, Let the Lord Sort Them is the definitive portrait of a particularly American institution.

Let the Lord Sort Them

Author : Maurice Chammah
Publisher : Crown Publishing Group (NY)
Release : 2021
Category : History
ISBN : 9781524760267

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Book Let the Lord Sort Them Description/Summary:

In 1972 the United States Supreme Court made a surprising ruling: the country's death penalty system violated the Constitution. The backlash was swift, especially in Texas, where executions were considered part of the cultural fabric, and a dark history of lynching was masked by gauzy visions of a tough-on-crime frontier. When executions resumed, Texas quickly became the nationwide leader in carrying out the punishment. Amid a larger wave of criminal justice reform came the death penalty's decline, a trend so durable that even in Texas the punishment appears again close to extinction. Chammah charts the rise and fall of capital punishment through the eyes of those it touched. -- adapted from publisher info

Among the Lowest of the Dead

Author : David Von Drehle
Publisher : University of Michigan Press
Release : 2010-06-04
Category : Law
ISBN : 9780472026982

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Book Among the Lowest of the Dead Description/Summary:

Thorough and unbiased, Among the Lowest of the Dead is a gripping narrative that provides an unprecedented journalistic look into the actual workings of the capital punishment system. "Has all the tension of the best true crime stories . . . This is journalism at its best." --Library Journal "A compelling argument against capital punishment. . . . Examining politicians, judges (including Supreme Court Justices), prosecutors, defense attorneys and the condemned themselves, the author makes an effective case that, despite new laws, execution is no less a lottery than it has always been." --Publishers Weekly "In a fine and important book, Von Drehle writes elegantly and powerfully. . . . Anyone certain of their opinion about the death penalty ought to read this book." -- Booklist "An extremely well-informed and richly insightful book of great value to students of the death penalty as well as intelligent general readers with a serious interest in the subject, Among the Lowest of the Dead is also exciting reading. The book is an ideal guide for new generations of readers who want to form knowledgeable judgments in the continuing--and recently accelerating--controversies about capital punishment." --Anthony Amsterdam, New York University "Among the Lowest of the Dead is a powerfully written and meticulously researched book that makes an invaluable contribution to the growing public dialogue about capital punishment in America. It's one of those rare books that bridges the gap between mass audiences and scholarly disciplines, the latter including sociology, political science, criminology and journalism. The book is required reading in my Investigative Journalism classes--and my students love it!" --David Protess, Northwestern University "Among The Lowest of the Dead deserves a permanent place in the literature as literature, and is most relevant to today's death penalty debate as we moderate advocates and abolitionists search for common ground." --Robert Blecker, New York Law School David Von Drehle is Senior Writer, The Washington Post and author of Triangle: The Fire that Changed America.

Arbitrary Death

Author : Rick Unklesbay
Publisher : Wheatmark, Inc.
Release : 2019-05-10
Category : Law
ISBN : 9781627876810

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Book Arbitrary Death Description/Summary:

Over a career spanning nearly four decades, Rick Unklesbay has tried over one hundred murder cases before juries that ended with sixteen men and women receiving the death sentence. Arbitrary Death depicts some of the most horrific murders in Tucson, Arizona, the author's prosecution of those cases, and how the death penalty was applied. It provides the framework to answer the questions: Why is America the only Western country to still use the death penalty? Can a human-run system treat those cases fairly and avoid unconstitutional arbitrariness? It is an insider's view from someone who has spent decades prosecuting murder cases and who now argues that the death penalty doesn't work and our system is fundamentally flawed. With a rational, balanced approach, Unklesbay depicts cases that represent how different parts of the criminal justice system are responsible for the arbitrary nature of the death penalty and work against the fair application of the law. The prosecution, trial courts, juries, and appellate courts all play a part in what ultimately is a roll of the dice as to whether a defendant lives or dies. Arbitrary Death is for anyone who wonders why and when its government seeks to legally take the life of one of its citizens. It will have you questioning whether you can support a system that applies death as an arbitrary punishment -- and often decades after the sentence was given.

Deadly Justice

Author : Frank Baumgartner,Colin Wilson
Publisher : Oxford University Press
Release : 2017
Category : Law
ISBN : 9780190841546

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Book Deadly Justice Description/Summary:

In 1976, the US Supreme Court ruled in Gregg v. Georgia that the death penalty was constitutional if it complied with certain specific provisions designed to ensure that it was reserved for the 'worst of the worst.' The same court had rejected the death penalty just four years before in the Furman decision because it found that the penalty had been applied in a capricious and arbitrary manner. The 1976 decision ushered in the 'modern' period of the US death penalty, setting the country on a course to execute over 1,400 inmates in the ensuing years, with over 8,000 individuals currently sentenced to die. Now, forty years after the decision, the eminent political scientist Frank Baumgartner along with a team of younger scholars (Marty Davidson, Kaneesha Johnson, Arvind Krishnamurthy, and Colin Wilson) have collaborated to assess the empirical record and provide a definitive account of how the death penalty has been implemented. Each chapter addresses a precise empirical question and provides evidence, not opinion, about whether how the modern death penalty has functioned. They decided to write the book after Justice Breyer issued a dissent in a 2015 death penalty case in which he asked for a full briefing on the constitutionality of the death penalty. In particular, they assess the extent to which the modern death penalty has met the aspirations of Gregg or continues to suffer from the flaws that caused its rejection in Furman. To answer this question, they provide the most comprehensive statistical account yet of the workings of the capital punishment system. Authoritative and pithy, the book is intended for both students in a wide variety of fields, researchers studying the topic, and--not least--the Supreme Court itself.

Courting Death

Author : Carol S. Steiker,Jordan M. Steiker
Publisher : Harvard University Press
Release : 2016-11-07
Category : History
ISBN : 9780674737426

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Book Courting Death Description/Summary:

Refusing to eradicate the death penalty, the U.S. has attempted to reform and rationalize capital punishment through federal constitutional law. While execution chambers remain active in several states, Carol Steiker and Jordan Steiker argue that the fate of the American death penalty is likely to be sealed by this failed judicial experiment.

End of Its Rope

Author : Brandon L. Garrett
Publisher : Harvard University Press
Release : 2017-09-25
Category : Law
ISBN : 9780674981966

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Book End of Its Rope Description/Summary:

Today, death sentences in the U.S. are as rare as lightning strikes. Brandon Garrett shows us the reasons why, and explains what the failed death penalty experiment teaches about the effect of inept lawyering, overzealous prosecution, race discrimination, wrongful convictions, and excessive punishments throughout the criminal justice system.

The Republic of Beliefs

Author : Kaushik Basu
Publisher : Princeton University Press
Release : 2020-12-08
Category : Business & Economics
ISBN : 9780691210049

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Book The Republic of Beliefs Description/Summary:

"[This book] argues that the traditional economic analysis of the law has significant flaws and has failed to answer certain critical questions satisfactorily. Why are good laws drafted but never implemented? When laws are unenforced, is it a failure of the law or the enforcers? And, most important, considering that laws are simply words on paper, why are they effective? Basu offers a provocative alternative to how the relationship between economics and real-world law enforcement should be understood. Basu summarizes standard, neoclassical law and economics before looking at the weaknesses underlying the discipline. Bringing modern game theory to bear, he develops a 'focal point' approach, modeling not just the self-interested actions of the citizens who must follow laws but also the functionaries of the state: the politicians, judges, and bureaucrats enforcing them. He demonstrates the connections between social norms and the law and shows how well conceived ideas can change and benefit human behavior. For example, bribe givers and takers will collude when they are treated equally under the law. And in food support programs, vouchers should be given directly to the poor to prevent shop owners from selling subsidized rations on the open market. Basu provides a new paradigm for the ways that law and economics interact: a framework applicable to both less developed countries and the developed world"--Jacket.

Epic Encounters

Author : Melani McAlister
Publisher : Univ of California Press
Release : 2005-07-05
Category : History
ISBN : 9780520932012

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Book Epic Encounters Description/Summary:

Epic Encounters examines how popular culture has shaped the ways Americans define their "interests" in the Middle East. In this innovative book—now brought up-to-date to include 9/11 and the Iraq war—Melani McAlister argues that U.S. foreign policy, while grounded in material and military realities, is also developed in a cultural context. American understandings of the region are framed by narratives that draw on religious belief, news media accounts, and popular culture. This remarkable and pathbreaking book skillfully weaves lively and accessible readings of film, media, and music with a rigorous analysis of U.S. foreign policy, race politics, and religious history. The new chapter, titled "9/11 and After: Snapshots on the Road to Empire," considers and brilliantly analyzes five images that have become iconic: (1) New York City firemen raising the American flag out of the rubble of the World Trade Center, (2) the televised image of Osama bin-Laden, (3) Afghani women in burqas, (4) the statue of Saddam Hussein being toppled in Baghdad, and (5) the hooded and wired prisoner in Abu Ghraib. McAlister's singular achievement is to illuminate the contexts of these five images both at the time they were taken and as they relate to current events, an accomplishment all the more remarkable since—to paraphrase her new preface—we are today struggling to look backward at something that is still rushing ahead.

The Sun Does Shine

Author : Anthony Ray Hinton,Lara Love Hardin
Publisher : Unknown
Release : 2018-03-27
Category : Biography & Autobiography
ISBN : 9781250124715

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Book The Sun Does Shine Description/Summary:

"A powerful, revealing story of hope, love, justice, and the power of reading by a man who spent thirty years on death row for a crime he didn't commit"--

My Year Abroad

Author : Chang-rae Lee
Publisher : Penguin
Release : 2021
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 9781594634574

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Book My Year Abroad Description/Summary:

"From the award-winning author of Native Speaker and On Such a Full Sea, a brilliant, exuberant and entertaining story of a young American whose life is transformed when a Chinese-American businessman suddenly takes him under his wing on a global adventure"--

Lord of the Flies

Author : William Golding
Publisher : Penguin
Release : 1954
Category : Fiction
ISBN : 0399501487

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Book Lord of the Flies Description/Summary:

The classic study of human nature which depicts the degeneration of a group of schoolboys marooned on a desert island.

The Wrong Carlos

Author : James S. Liebman,Shawn Crowley,Andrew Markquart,Lauren Rosenberg
Publisher : Columbia University Press
Release : 2014-07-08
Category : Law
ISBN : 9780231167239

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Book The Wrong Carlos Description/Summary:

In 1989, Texas executed Carlos DeLuna, a poor Hispanic man with childlike intelligence, for the murder of Wanda Lopez, a convenience store clerk. His execution passed unnoticed for years until a team of Columbia Law School faculty and students almost accidentally chose to investigate his case and found that DeLuna almost certainly was innocent. They discovered that no one had cared enough about either the defendant or the victim to make sure the real perpetrator was found. Everything that could go wrong in a criminal case did. This book documents DeLunaÕs conviction, which was based on a single, nighttime, cross-ethnic eyewitness identification with no corroborating forensic evidence. At his trial, DeLunaÕs defense, that another man named Carlos had committed the crime, was not taken seriously. The lead prosecutor told the jury that the other Carlos, Carlos Hernandez, was a ÒphantomÓ of DeLunaÕs imagination. In upholding the death penalty on appeal, both the state and federal courts concluded the same thing: Carlos Hernandez did not exist. The evidence the Columbia team uncovered reveals that Hernandez not only existed but was well known to the police and prosecutors. He had a long history of violent crimes similar to the one for which DeLuna was executed. Families of both Carloses mistook photos of each for the other, and HernandezÕs violence continued after DeLuna was put to death. This book and its website (thewrongcarlos.net) reproduce law-enforcement, crime lab, lawyer, court, social service, media, and witness records, as well as court transcripts, photographs, radio traffic, and audio and videotaped interviews, documenting one of the most comprehensive investigations into a criminal case in U.S. history. The result is eye-opening yet may not be unusual. Faulty eyewitness testimony, shoddy legal representation, and prosecutorial misfeasance continue to put innocent people at risk of execution. The principal investigators conclude with novel suggestions for improving accuracy among the police, prosecutors, forensic scientists, and judges.

Nobody's Child: A Tragedy, a Trial, and a History of the Insanity Defense

Author : Susan Vinocour
Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company
Release : 2020-03-24
Category : Law
ISBN : 9780393651935

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Book Nobody's Child: A Tragedy, a Trial, and a History of the Insanity Defense Description/Summary:

A powerful and humane exploration of the history of the "insanity defense," through the story of one poignant case. When a three-year-old child was found with a head wound and other injuries, it looked like an open-and-shut case of second-degree murder. Psychologist and attorney Susan Vinocour agreed to evaluate the defendant, the child's mentally ill and impoverished grandmother, to determine whether she was competent to stand trial. Even if she had caused the child's death, had she realized at the time that her actions were wrong or was she legally "insane"? What followed was anything but an open-and-shut case. Nobody's Child traces the legal definition of "insanity" back to its inception in Victorian Britain nearly two hundred years ago, from when our understanding of the human mind was in its infancy, to today, when questions of race, class, and ability so often determine who is legally "insane" and who is criminally guilty. Vinocour explains how "competency" and "insanity" are creatures of a legal system, not of psychiatric reality, and how, in criminal law, the insanity defense has to often been a luxury of the rich and white. Nobody's Child is a profoundly dignified portrait of injustice in America and a complex examination of the troubling intersection of mental health and the law. When prisons are now the largest institutions for the mentally ill, Vinocour demands that we reckon with our conceptions of "insanity" with clarity, empathy, and responsibility.

A Wild Justice: The Death and Resurrection of Capital Punishment in America

Author : Evan J. Mandery
Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company
Release : 2013-08-19
Category : Law
ISBN : 9780393239584

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Book A Wild Justice: The Death and Resurrection of Capital Punishment in America Description/Summary:

Discusses the history of the two Supreme Court cases that were responsible for changing the laws regarding the death penalty in America and polarizing the nation.

The Autobiography of an Execution

Author : David R. Dow
Publisher : Twelve
Release : 2010-02-03
Category : Biography & Autobiography
ISBN : 9780446573948

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Book The Autobiography of an Execution Description/Summary:

Near the beginning of The Autobiography of an Execution, David Dow lays his cards on the table. "People think that because I am against the death penalty and don't think people should be executed, that I forgive those people for what they did. Well, it isn't my place to forgive people, and if it were, I probably wouldn't. I'm a judgmental and not very forgiving guy. Just ask my wife." It this spellbinding true crime narrative, Dow takes us inside of prisons, inside the complicated minds of judges, inside execution-administration chambers, into the lives of death row inmates (some shown to be innocent, others not) and even into his own home--where the toll of working on these gnarled and difficult cases is perhaps inevitably paid. He sheds insight onto unexpected phenomena-- how even religious lawyer and justices can evince deep rooted support for putting criminals to death-- and makes palpable the suspense that clings to every word and action when human lives hang in the balance.

Old Sparky

Author : Anthony Galvin
Publisher : Simon and Schuster
Release : 2016-10-18
Category : History
ISBN : 9781510711358

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Book Old Sparky Description/Summary:

A shocking exploration of America’s preferred method of capital punishment. In early 2013, Robert Gleason became the latest victim of the electric chair, a peculiarly American execution method. Shouting Póg mo thóin (“Kiss my ass” in Gaelic), he grinned as electricity shot through his system. When the current was switched off, his body slumped against the leather restraints, and Gleeson, who had strangled two fellow inmates to ensure his execution was not postponed, was dead. The execution had gone flawlessly—not a guaranteed result with the electric chair, which has gone horrifically wrong on many occasions. Old Sparky covers the history of capital punishment in America and the “current wars” between Edison and Westinghouse that led to the development of the electric chair. It examines how the electric chair became the most popular method of execution in America before being superseded by lethal injection. Famous executions are explored, alongside quirky last meals and poignant last words. The death penalty remains a hot topic of debate in America, and Old Sparky does not shy away from that controversy. Executions have gone spectacularly wrong, with convicts being set alight or needing up to five jolts of electricity before dying. There have been terrible miscarriages of justice, and the death penalty has not been applied even-handedly. Historically, African Americans, the mentally challenged, and poor defendants have been likely to get the chair, an anomaly which led the Supreme Court to briefly suspend the death penalty. Since the resumption of capital punishment in 1976, Texas alone has executed more than five hundred prisoners, and death row is full. Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in history--books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

Capital Defense

Author : Jon B. Gould,Maya Pagni Barak
Publisher : NYU Press
Release : 2019-06-18
Category : Social Science
ISBN : 9781479822225

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Book Capital Defense Description/Summary:

The unsung heroes who defend the accused from the ultimate punishment What motivates someone to make a career out of defending some of the worst suspected killers of our time? In Capital Defense, Jon B. Gould and Maya Pagni Barak give us a glimpse into the lives of lawyers who choose to work in the darkest corner of our criminal justice system: death penalty cases. Based on in-depth personal interviews with a cross-section of the nation’s top capital defense teams, the book explores the unusual few who voluntarily represent society’s “worst of the worst.” With a compassionate and careful eye, Gould and Barak chronicle the experiences of American lawyers, who—like soldiers or surgeons—operate under the highest of stakes, where verdicts have the power to either “take death off the table” or put clients on “the conveyor belt towards death.” These lawyers are a rare breed in a field that is otherwise seen as dirty work and in a system that is overburdened, under-resourced, and overshadowed by social, cultural, and political pressures. Examining the ugliest side of our criminal justice system, Capital Defense offers an up-close perspective on the capital litigation process and its impact on the people who participate in it.

Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich

Author : William L. Shirer
Publisher : Simon and Schuster
Release : 1990
Category : History
ISBN : 9780671728687

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Book Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich Description/Summary:

The classic history of Adolph Hitler's rise to power and his dramatic defeat