Understanding Series: Understanding Capital Punishment Law
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An overview of capital punishment in the United States. These chapters include arguments for and against capital punishment, and an overview of the legal constructs for analysis of Eighth Amendment issues.
The procedures of a death penalty trial. This group of chapters covers the constitutional issues that have shaped the process into a guilt phase and a penalty phase; aggravating circumstances; mitigating circumstances; and a decision on death or life. Topics include categorical bars to the death penalty, such as mental retardation; the function of aggravating evidence to narrow the group of death-eligible defendants; the presentation of aggravating evidence, such as victim impact evidence; the function of mitigating evidence to provide for an individualized consideration of the defendant; the presentation of mitigating evidence; and the decision process, including the distinction between weighing and non-weighing statutes and life without parole instructions.
Post-trial procedures and constitutional issues. These chapters include direct appeal; habeas corpus, with an emphasis on ineffective assistance of counsel and innocence claims; clemency; and death row issues of insanity and the death row phenomenon.
Systemic issues in capital punishment cases. Pervasive issues of race and gender discrimination are covered as well as the constitutional and practical problem of "volunteers" for the death penalty. Additionally, there is a chapter that explains and describes international treaty issues in capital cases.
Future issues in capital punishment law. A final chapter looks at issues that are likely to arise or have an impact in the future in death penalty cases, including constitutionality of executing juveniles and the effect of terrorism on death penalty law.
Table of Contents includes:
Introduction to Capital Punishment Law;
The Death Penalty Debate;
Sources of Law;
Challenges to the Constitutionality of the Death Penalty;
Methods of Execution;
Modern Death Penalty Statutes;
The Death Penalty Trial;
Catagorical Bars to the Death Penalty;
Overview of Aggravating Evidence: The Eligibility Function and Selection Function;
Aggravating Circumstances: Eligibility of the Case for the Death Penalty;
Aggravating Evidence and the Selection Decision;
Selection Process: Mitigation;
Selection Process: The Life or Death Decision;
Postconviction Proceedings: The Writ of Habeas Corpus;
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel;
Innocence and the Death Penalty;
Death Row Issues: Insanity and Death row Phenomenon;
Race and the Death Penalty;
Gender Bias and the Death Penalty;
Volunteers: Defendants Who Want to Die;
International Treaty Rights in Death Penalty Cases;
Future Issues in Capital Punishment Law.
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|Edition||3rd ed., 2012|