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The death penalty is one of the most hotly contested issues in America today. Evidence continues to mount that many innocent people have been executed or are currently living on death row, and that minority groups and the poor suffer from a shoddy public defense system and discriminatory application of capital charges. Meanwhile, the myth of deterrence has been revealed to be false, and an increasing number of Americans are beginning to question their support for capital punishment.
Legal Lynching offers a succinct, accessible introduction to the debate over the death penalty's history and future, exposing a chilling frequency of legal error, systemic racial and economic discrimination, and pervasive government misconduct. This is an essential book for readers across the political spectrum who wish to cut through the common myths and assumptions about the efficacy and morality of state-sanctioned killing.
“Might well convince even the staunchest supporters that America’s machinery of death has run its course.... The intellectual clarity of Legal Lynching and the profound moral questions it raises deserve a wide audience and demand a political response.” —The Washington Post Book World
“Straightforward and accessible… This book sets out to systematically demolish the pat, common-sense myths that make capital punishment palatable.” —Newsday
“A calmly advanced indictment of how capital punishment is applied in the U.S.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch
“The test is peppered with the agony of mangled just. As the death penalty debate grows nationally… the book's relevance will only grow.” —Albuquerque Journal
“Reads like a comprehensive speech… its passion and detailed arguments make the book important.” —The American Prospect