Capital Punishment

Richard Rosenfeld

in Criminology

ISBN: 9780195396607
Published online December 2009 | | DOI:
Capital Punishment

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The death penalty is one of the most contentious issues in criminology and public policy, especially in the United States, which retains the death penalty and continues to execute capital offenders even though most other nations have abandoned capital punishment. Important criminological issues include historical and cross-cultural variation in the use of the death penalty; the objectives of capital punishment, including whether the death penalty deters homicide and meets the requirements of justice for victims and the society; the administration of the death penalty, including the role of race, errors and wrongful convictions in the sentencing process, and the cost of capital punishment; public opinion; and the influence of politics, culture, and social structure on public opinion and use of the death penalty. The literature on these and related topics is voluminous, and the focus here is on recent studies and works containing extensive reviews of past research.

Article.  7127 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Criminal Justice ; Criminology

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