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Debating the Death Penalty: Should America Have Capital Punishment? The Experts on Both Sides Make Their Best Case [Paperback]

Hugo Adam Bedau , Paul G. Cassell
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

14 April 2005
When news breaks that a convicted murderer, released from prison, has killed again, or that an innocent person has escaped the death chamber in light of new DNA evidence, arguments about capital punishment inevitably heat up. Few controversies continue to stir as much emotion as this one, and public confusion is often the result.
This volume brings together seven experts—judges, lawyers, prosecutors, and philosophers—to debate the death penalty in a spirit of open inquiry and civil discussion. Here, as the contributors present their reasons for or against capital punishment, the multiple facets of the issue are revealed in clear and thought-provoking detail. Is the death penalty a viable deterrent to future crimes? Does the imposition of lesser penalties, such as life imprisonment, truly serve justice in cases of the worst offences? Does the legal system discriminate against poor or minority defendants? Is the possibility of executing innocent persons sufficient grounds for abolition?
In confronting such questions and making their arguments, the contributors marshal an impressive array of evidence, both statistical and from their own experiences working on death penalty cases. The book also includes the text of Governor George Ryan's March 2002 speech in which he explained why he had commuted the sentences of all prisoners on Illinois's death row.
By representing the viewpoints of experts who face the vexing questions about capital punishment on a daily basis, Debating the Death Penalty makes a vital contribution to a more nuanced understanding of the moral and legal problems underlying this controversy.

Frequently Bought Together

Debating the Death Penalty: Should America Have Capital Punishment? The Experts on Both Sides Make Their Best Case + The Death Penalty: For and Against (Point/Counterpoint: Philosophers Debate Contemporary Issues) + Execution: A History of Capital Punishment in Britain
Price For All Three: 35.21

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Product details

  • Paperback: 258 pages
  • Publisher: OUP USA (14 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195179803
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195179804
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 15.7 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 311,578 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Hugo Adam Bedau is Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, at Tufts University and editor of The Death Penalty in America: Current Controversies. Paul Cassell is a U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Utah and Professor of Law at the University of Utah College of Law.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MISDEEDS MIXED WITH MIRTH 7 Mar 2003
By Gail Cooke TOP 500 REVIEWER
Oklahoma native Carolyn Hart was the first triple crown winner in the mystery genre - she garnered The Agatha, Anthony and Macavity Awards. "Engaged To Die" is her 34th book; the 14th in the Death on Demand Series. Quite obviously, she's not one to rest on her laurels or considering her output even to rest.
Annie and Max Darling have become reader favorites with their escapades and always entertaining adventures. In their latest engaging mystery we find excitement afoot on the Low Country island of Broward's Rock, South Carolina. (Faithful readers know this site is based on Hilton Head Island).
Wealthy art gallery owner Virginia Neville is about to host a soiree introducing a major new collection. Her party is about all islanders can talk about, and everyone has received an invitation.
But no one is in on what Virginia considers the biggest surprise of all - she's announcing her engagement to a much younger man. As they say, the path of true love seldom runs smooth - especially when murder comes on the scene.
Max Darling is quickly called upon to assist in the investigation, which proves to be an even greater challenge when one of the prime suspects turns out to be Chloe Martin, a college girl who worked at Annie's bookstore over the Christmas holidays.
Chloe has an additional agenda of her own - she has fallen in love with a mysterious stranger, and she doesn't even know his name.
Leave it to Max and Annie to solve the crime and put their world to rights while providing readers with lots of fun and surprises along the way.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Great Time to Discover Carolyn Hart! 21 Jun 2003
By Bookreporter - Published on
Carolyn Hart, where have you been all my life?
Seriously, how is it that I never spotted you on the bookshelves amongst the Sue Graftons and Patricia Cornwells and Sarah Paretskys? Well, I have now rectified that, thank goodness.
Carolyn Hart is a mystery lover's dream come true. Her stories are for anyone who will confess to the guilty pleasure of reading serial mysteries (okay, and even for those of you who won't admit it, but secretly indulge nonetheless). ENGAGED TO DIE is Hart's latest installment --- the fourteenth installment, to be exact --- in the Death on Demand whodunit series featuring Annie and Max Darling, amateur detectives reminiscent of Nick and Nora Charles.
Annie Darling owns a bookstore, but not just any bookstore. She is the proprietor of Death on Demand, a popular venue on the island of Broward's Rock in South Carolina that specializes in selling leather-bound enigmas and paperback puzzlers. If you have ever walked into a real-life mystery bookstore like The Cloak and Dagger in Princeton, NJ, you know the sheer joy of losing yourself in the thievery, murder and mayhem oozing from the pages authored by Dashiell Hammett, Carolyn Keene or Arthur Conan Doyle.
The bookstore setting is ingenious; it affords Hart the opportunity to show off her knowledge of mystery writers, new and old, great and virtually unknown. Conversations in the store between Annie and her customers are peppered with titles and authors, and the reader, if a lover of mysteries, can't help but feel that he or she is part of a special club. Henny Brawley is described as the store's best customer; each of her visits results in the purchase of several books and the exchange of mystery trivia. (Brownie points for anyone who knows the significance of the name "Hepzibah" in the mystery genre.) The bookstore even boasts a cat named Agatha, homage to you-know-who.
The mystery at hand in ENGAGED TO DIE: Jake O'Neill, the young, handsome fiancé of widowed --- and wealthy --- Virginia Neville, has been murdered, his body found face down at the end of an oyster-shell path at an ocean overlook. The suspects are many, including Chloe, the young assistant who works in Annie's store and who had fallen in love with Jake. The Neville family is also not without motive. Upset by their father's bequest, which left virtually everything to Virginia, his nurse-turned-second wife, each of the Neville children could have and might have bashed in Jake's head to keep him from benefiting from the family inheritance.
Max Darling, a lawyer and devoted husband of Annie, is deputized into duty by the acting police chief and begins to investigate the death. Annie decides to launch a search of her own, hoping to exonerate her co-worker. Their seemingly different paths ultimately intersect, as they become unknowing targets of the murderer.
Find Carolyn Hart on the bookshelf. Read ENGAGED TO DIE. Or, better yet, start at the beginning with DEATH ON DEMAND, the first in the series, and work your way up to ENGAGED TO DIE. That's my plan.
--- Reviewed by Roberta O'Hara
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Balanced 5 Nov 2006
By A. Harris - Published on
If you are looking for balanced arguments for and against the death penalty, this is probably one of the best sources currently available. The book alternates between retentionist and abolitionist papers (those for and those against capital punishment). I have personally found it very hard to find any academic arguments in favour of capital punishment and perhaps the most academic one I have found is in this book - Louis Pojman, who was also the editor of a book on moral philosophy that was used in my philosophy studies in university.

This book is mostly focussed on the death penalty as it is experienced in the United States and features some of the most well known figures in the US on this issue (including former Illinois Governor George Ryan).

Being most familiar with the abolitionist arguments, I would say that this volume is not completely comprehensive, but it is worthy and I get the feeling that this is not aimed at showing all arguments - just the primary arguments of those speaking - and it does that excellently. It is an excellent book too if you are having trouble understanding 'the other side' in this issue and well worth the read.

On a side note, if you are interested in understanding the legal and international perspective of the death penalty I recommend Professor Roger Hood's _The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective_ - the best comprehensive study on the subject I have ever found.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable Death on Demand mystery 8 Mar 2003
By Harriet Klausner - Published on
Wealthy Nathaniel Neville shocked his two children and their spouses when he married his nurse and later left her with the estate when he died. His wife Virginia promised the irate foursome that they would be her heirs, but that vow seems shaky now. Virginia apparently has fallen in love with artist Jake O'Neill. At the opening of her new gallery in Broward's'Rock, South Carolina, Virginia announces that she and Jake will marry.
Already disturbed by their father's will, her stepfamily goes berserk thinking the handsome artist will waste what they believe is rightfully theirs. Chloe Martin is also stunned by the announcement because she thought she was exclusively seeing Jake. However, someone decides to take action, killing the charming artist. All evidence indicates that Chloe committed the crime as she flees the scene and her shawl is found near the victim. Chloe's boss mystery bookstore Annie Darling tries to prove her assistant is innocent while her spouse Max helps the police with the official investigation.
Though the who-done-it is relatively easy to figure out by real amateurs like this reviewer, readers will enjoy the latest Death on Demand mystery. Although obvious, the story line is fun to follow, as the darling lead couple wants the same thing even while working on opposite sides of the inquiry.
Harriet Klausner
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative and Balanced 30 July 2009
By Kristina Kent - Published on
Before reading this book, I was under the impression that the capital punishment debate had only two points of view. Either you are for the death penalty, or you are against it. I was mistaken. There are seven contributing authors to this work, and each has a distinctly different point of view on the capital punishment debate. These points of view range from total abolitionist (believes the death penalty is morally wrong no matter the crime) to the staunch belief that we do not use the death penalty enough nor with enough regularity for it to be effective (believes we should kill more murderers faster). The issues addressed include deterrence, arbitrariness, racism, DNA evidence, and the many imperfections in the process of sending a killer to his or her death.
13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death Penalty Opinions 19 Nov 2004
By David - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I believe that the opinions in this book are very enlightening. The co. authors explain their opinions very well and present their views cogently. Paul Cassell's chapter in this book was very convincing and it is very clear to note that he is oneof the leading experts in this field. I highly recomond this book to anybody who is interested in learning about the Death Penalty.

Stephen Taylor Snyder
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