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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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Segregation, Capital Punishment, and the Forging of the Post–New Deal Political Leader

(p.166) 6 Interposition
America's Death Penalty

Jonathan Simon

NYU Press

This chapter examines the politics underlying the shifts in the conduct of governors in the exercise of executive clemency in the United States since the 1950s. In particular, it considers how the governor, from being a little “New Deal” executive derivative of the national government in Washington, emerged as a dominant executive in a post-New Deal order based on fear of crime. It also discusses segregation and capital punishment as important legal challenges to state authority during the period from 1954 to 1964. Finally, it explains how the doctrine of “interposition” provided a model for a populist politics of the governor that has arguably been more effectively realized around the issue of death penalty.

Keywords:   governors, executive clemency, United States, New Deal, crime, segregation, capital punishment, doctrine of interposition, populist politics, death penalty

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