Death Penalty Cases presents significant verbatim excerpts of death-penalty decisions from the United States Supreme Court. The first chapter introduces the topics discussed throughout the book. It also includes a detailed history of the death penalty in the United States. After this introduction, the remaining eighteen chapters are divided into five parts: Foundational Cases, Death-Eligible Crimes and Persons, The Death Penalty Trial, Post-Conviction Review, and Execution Issues.
The first part, consisting of five chapters, talks about the mandatory death penalty, mitigating evidence and racial bias. The next part covers death-eligible crimes, such as rape and other crimes that do not involve homicide and murder. The middle part presents the trial process, from choosing the appropriate decision-makers through the sentencing decision. Followed by this is a chapter focusing on the aftermath of conviction, such as claims of innocence. The book concludes by exploring issues related to execution, such as not executing insane convicts. Finally, execution methods are presented.
- Provides the most recent case material--no need to supplement
- Topical organization of cases provides a more logical organization for structuring a course
- Co-authors with different perspectives on the death penalty assures complete impartiality of the material
- Provides the necessary historical background, a clear explanation of the current capital case process, and an impartial description of the controversies surrounding the death penalty
- Provides the latest statistics relevant to discussions on the death penalty
- Clearly explains the different ways in which the states process death penalty cases, with excerpts of the most relevant statutes
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1. The Law and the Issues
Section I: Foundational Cases 2. Cruel and Unusual as Applied: Furman v. Georgia 3. Not Inherently Unconstitutional: Gregg v. Georgia 4. Mandatory Death Penalty: Woodson v. North Carolina 5. Mitigating Evidence: Lockett v. Ohio, Jurek v. Texas, Note on Penry and later Texas cases 6. Racial Bias: McCleskey v. Kemp Section II: Death-Eligible Crimes and Persons 7. Rape: Coker v. Georgia 8. Murder: Godfrey v. Georgia 9. Felony-Murder: Enmund v. Florida, Tison v. Arizona 10. The Mentally Retarded and Juveniles: Atkins v. Virginia, Roper v. Simmons 11. Child Rape: Kennedy v. Louisiana
Section III: The Death Penalty Trial 12. Appropriate Decisionmakers: Spaziano v. Florida, Ring v. Arizona 13. Selecting Jurors: Witherspoon v. Illinois, Turner v. Murray, Uttecht v. Brown 14. Victim Impact Evidence: Payne v. Tennessee 15. The Sentencing Decision: McKoy v. North Carolina, Kansas v. Marsh
Section IV: Post-Conviction Review 16. Ineffective Counsel: Strickland v. Washington, Williams v. Taylor 17. Claims of Innocence: Herrera v. Collins, Kansas v. Marsh
Section V: Execution Issues 18. Mental Illness at Execution: Ford v. Wainwright, Panetti v. Quarterman 19. Method of Execution: Baze v. Rees
Appendix A. Facts and Figures on Murder and the Death Penalty B. Selected Death Penalty Statutes
BARRY LATZER is Professor of Government at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a member of the Ph.D. and M.A. faculties in Criminal Justice at the Graduate School and University Center. He received a law degree (J.D.) from Fordham University (1985) and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (1977). Professor Latzer is also known for his work on state constitutional law, which is the subject of two of his books, State Constitutional Criminal Law (Clark, Boardman, Callaghan, 1995), and State Constitutions and Criminal Justice (Greenwood, 1991). He has published over two dozen scholarly articles and writes a continuing series of articles for the Criminal Law Bulletin, entitled "State Constitutional Developments."