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January 27, 2012

"Capital Punishment and Contingency"

The title of this post is the title of this interesting new piece by Professor Carol Steiker, which reviews David Garland's recent book on capital punishment titled "Peculiar Institution: America’s Death Penalty in an Age of Abolition."  Here is a brief summary of the piece via SSRN:

This book review of David Garland’s “Peculiar Institution: America’s Death Penalty in an Age of Abolition,” assesses Garland’s contributions both to the literature about the American death penalty and to the broader debate about the nature and causes of American penal exceptionalism. Garland’s perspective is considered in light of the work of James Whitman, Franklin Zimring, Michael Tonry, Nicola Lacey, and William Stuntz.  After situating Garland in the larger conversation, the review goes on to illustrate and deepen Garland account of the contingency of America’s recent death penalty story by imaging three counterfactual (and extremely divergent) American death penalty stories-that-might-have-been.

January 27, 2012 at 05:57 PM | Permalink


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We’re also :an age" of drive bys,
Cyber-bullied suicides,
Clergy & coach sodomites…
Fatherless families,
Islamic killers’ IEDs,
Mocking Tebow on TV…
Race peddlers,
Elder abusers.

Change isn’t always progress.
Our zeitgeist may be the ‘Dark Ages’ in many ways,
but not because we execute those who murder.

Posted by: Adamakis | Jan 27, 2012 9:17:29 PM

Abolitionist A, reviewing the work of buddy Abolitionist B: "What a masterpiece. Abolitionism is indeed wonderful."

This is what gets passed off as enlightening.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jan 27, 2012 9:26:36 PM

Wow!! I can’t believe it took me so long to find you! THANKYOU!

Posted by: supra sneakers | Jan 28, 2012 3:33:22 AM

Prof. Steiker. Feminist. All Harvard Law, including President of Harvard Law Review (i.e. a sucker and a time wasting idiot, looking up citations 40 hoours a week when she could be having a life), clerkship with Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Rebuttable Presumption: Rent seeking lying garbage ahead. Hates America, wants it to be France so it can be fully run by Harvard Law grads without competition from Southern lawyer rent seekers.

Article: No mention of the V word from this feminist rent seeker. No mention that the KKK lynched 5000 black males, productive ones in 100 years. The feminist lawyers oechestrates for an excess of 5000 murders of productive black males a year, being 100 times more effective than the lawyers running the KKK.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 28, 2012 7:58:39 AM

off topic, Prof. Berman in the flesh:


On topic, I didn't quite get into the style of the book, but it is worthwhile since it does something that many discussions do not and gets into the basic ethos of our death penalty system, including the logic to application of the death penalty, even if its application leaves something to be desired.

This is often not seen -- people criticize one or the other side without trying to at least step in the shoes of the other and try to see the logic of that side. The logic might be problematic, but it has to be understood to fully respect what the other side is trying to do. The inability to do this is apparent from many discussions.

Posted by: Joe | Jan 28, 2012 10:31:30 AM

Joe: What if the other side of a debate is in bad faith? The Supreme Court likes the current situation of $billions in legal fees in the DP appellate business, will neither end it by banning the DP nor by ending appeals.

The Abolitionists are pushing a Trojan Horse toward our gates, presenting lies as pretexts in the law, but the agenda is to grow government, generate make work jobs like the Mafia in the waterfront rackets of the 1950's? What is the duty then? The duty is to our nation. It is to attack, and even kill these enemies, and internal traitors, now in total control of the three branches of government. One must elect a Lincoln class executive who will pitilessly purge, arrest, try and execute these internal enemies.

Little reminder: 20 million FBI Index felonies (real crime, not failing to sign a tax return or downloading child pron from the 1960's). 17,000 murders, and perhaps, 70,000 murders a year in reality (disproportionately of black males, thus of no consequence to the racist feminist lawyer). $trillions in losses in real estate value of the central cities alone, diversion of $trillion from research and development of technology to paper shufflers. Only the continuing existence of our civilization is a greater stake. That too is being threatened by the coddling and protection of the terrorists by the lawyer profession, its prosecution of our heroes, and the cancellation of tactical orders down to the squad level by know nothing terrorist lover lawyer commissars embedded in our military.

Mass purges, arrests, fair trials for one hour each, and summary executions of the entire lawyer hierarchy of today. Then an Amendment excluding the lawyer from all benches, legislative seats, and responsible policy positions in the executive. Nothing less will save us. I fear that will only happen after the loss of two cities to terrorist nuclear attack, since the lawyer controls the government. The alternative is the mob just killing every traitor lawyer they can find. I would hate to see that and would fight against that.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 28, 2012 4:50:23 PM

"What if the other side of a debate is in bad faith?"

This has to be recognized but I find that it is alleged much more than it occurs, including regarding groups I find wrong on the merits.

"Abolotionists" who have been around in some form since the beginning of this country come in various shapes and sizes. They all don't promote "lies" and to the degree half-truths are submitted, both sides from time to time provide them.

As to all that crime, reality check, only a fraction of a fraction has EVER been executed.

Posted by: Joe | Jan 30, 2012 1:00:12 PM

Close to being consistent. The government must act like it.

Posted by: gout treatment | Feb 15, 2012 7:52:37 AM

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