The Unusualness of Capital Punishment
24 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2010 Last revised: 1 May 2010
Date Written: May 1, 2010
From the short view, this is not a joyous period for opponents of the death penalty. From the long view, however, there is a chance that this new chapter could prove brighter for the abolitionist cause. There are reasons to think so, and this paper explores them. There is a tremendous amount of public criticism of capital punishment these days — some would say an unprecedented amount. Calling attention to the fallibility of the system is the opening wedge of the critique, but its deepest and broadest cuts strike at a different point: the extraordinary unusualness of the death penalty as practiced in America.
Keywords: capital punishment, unusual, Eighth Amendment
JEL Classification: K14, K19, K42, K49
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation