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America's Death PenaltyBetween Past and Present$
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David Garland, Randall McGowen, and Michael Meranze

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814732663

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814732663.001.0001

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Modes of Capital Punishment

Modes of Capital Punishment

The Death Penalty in Historical Perspective

(p.30) 2 Modes of Capital Punishment
America's Death Penalty

David Garland

NYU Press

This chapter examines the longer-term history of capital punishment and the issue of whether there is a pattern beyond the contingent factors and individual histories underpinning capital punishment. It considers the importance of political considerations in shaping the history of the death penalty and the decisive breaks that have punctuated this history, especially between the early modern and the modern periods. It argues that history exhibits a general pattern from which important conclusions about the nature and development of capital punishment can be derived. It also discusses several trends that are related to the death penalty, including state formation and state power, liberalization, crime control and criminal justice, and rationalization.

Keywords:   history, capital punishment, state power, death penalty, state formation, liberalization, rationalization, crime control, criminal justice

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