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The Road to Abolition?The Future of Capital Punishment in the United States$
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Charles J. Jr. Ogletree and Austin Sarat

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780814762172

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814762172.001.0001

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Torture, War, and Capital Punishment

Torture, War, and Capital Punishment

Linkages and Missed Connections

(p.281) 9 Torture, War, and Capital Punishment
The Road to Abolition?

Robin Wagner-Pacifici

NYU Press

This chapter examines the connections between torture, war, and capital punishment as modes of implementing state violence, suggesting that they intertwine in meaningful ways that have been previously overlooked. It begins with an overview of debates about the death penalty and torture and how they relate to sovereignty and orders of justice. It then considers the “war on terror” and how it promotes “military necessity over humanitarian values.” It also discusses the notion of sovereign exceptionalism and American responses to evolving international law regarding the death penalty and torture. Finally, it highlights the presence of racism in the use of state violence in the United States and argues that racism may be the link between the discursive frames around capital punishment, torture, and the “war on terror”.

Keywords:   torture, capital punishment, state violence, death penalty, sovereignty, orders of justice, war on terror, sovereign exceptionalism, international law, racism

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