Article

Broken and Beyond Repair: The American Death Penalty and the Insuperable Obstacles to Reform

Carol S. Steiker and Jordan M. Steiker

in The Oxford Handbook of Sentencing and Corrections

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199730148
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199730148.013.0029

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Broken and Beyond Repair: The American Death Penalty and the Insuperable Obstacles to Reform

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This article explores the tedious and unsuccessful project of controlling the death penalty through constitutional law. It first studies the problems that have surrounded constitutional jurisprudence since the 1970s, and then addresses the question of whether capital-punishment regimes are likely to meet the general concerns of fairness in process and outcome. Unfortunately, it seems that the problems of politicization and racial discrimination—among others—still are resistant to reform. This article concludes that even the basic requirements for a properly administered capital-punishment regime do not exist—and may never be achieved—in the United States.

Keywords: death penalty; constitutional law; capital-punishment regimes; fairness; racial discrimination; politicization

Article.  14058 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Courts and Procedure

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