CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Jochnowitz on The (Uncertain) "Withering Away" of the Death Penalty

This concept paper examines three new books on the death penalty, published from 2016-2018 for differing theses regarding possible abolition. Scholars during this period have interpreted the decreasing popularity of capital punishment and a super-regulatory costly legal environment as “the withering away” of the death penalty. The themes of the books center both on the slow demise of the death penalty due to expensive, time consuming legal regulation and racial inequality and on the expectations and upset results of the 2016 presidential race related to prospective Supreme Court appointments and the death penalty’s judicial abolition. The end result is not certain.

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