Baltimore Law: The Magazine of the University of Baltimore School of Law, Fall 2014, p. 32.
2 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2014
Date Written: 2014
This Article, published in the Fall 2014 edition of Baltimore Law, is a short summary of some of the information contained in Prof. John Bessler's new book, The Birth of American Law: An Italian Philosopher and the American Revolution (Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2014). That book comprehensively traces the influence of the Italian Enlightenment on the American Revolution. In particular, this Article briefly describes the influence of the Italian, anti-death penalty thinker, Cesare Beccaria, on America's founders. Beccaria's book, On Crimes and Punishments, was widely read in America's founding era. The Article also discusses how American executions are "cruel and unusual punishments."
Keywords: Cesare Beccaria, Founding Fathers, capital punishment, torture, death penalty, John Adams, executions, legal history, murder, life-without-parole, Deep South
JEL Classification: K14, K19, K39, K42, K49
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation