Imprisoned by the Past: Warren McCleskey and the American Death Penalty by Jeffrey L. KirchmeierImprisoned by the Past: Warren McCleskey and the American Death Penalty by Jeffrey L. Kirchmeier

Imprisoned by the Past: Warren McCleskey and the American Death Penalty

byJeffrey L. Kirchmeier

Hardcover | February 12, 2015

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In 1987, the United States Supreme Court decided a case that could have ended the death penalty in the United States. Imprisoned by the Past: Warren McCleskey and the American Death Penalty examines the long history of the American death penalty and its connection to the case of WarrenMcCleskey, revealing how that case marked a turning point for the history of the death penalty. In this book, Jeffrey L. Kirchmeier explores one of the most important Supreme Court cases in history, a case that raised important questions about race and punishment, and ultimately changed the way weunderstand the death penalty today. McCleskey's case resulted in one of the most important Supreme Court decisions in U.S. history, where the Court confronted evidence of racial discrimination in the administration of capital punishment. The case currently marks the last time that the Supreme Court had a realistic chance of completelystriking down capital punishment. As such, the case also marked a turning point in the death penalty debate in the country. Going back nearly four centuries, this book connects McCleskey's life and crime to the issues that have haunted the American death penalty debate since the first executions by early settlers through the modern twenty-first century death penalty. Imprisoned by the Past ties together three uniqueAmerican stories. First, the book considers the changing American death penalty across centuries where drastic changes have occurred in the last fifty years. Second, the book discusses the role that race played in that history. And third, the book tells the story of Warren McCleskey and how his lifeand legal case brought together the other two narratives.
Jeffrey L. Kirchmeier is a Professor of Law at City University of New York School of Law. He received his B.A. and J.D. degrees from Case Western Reserve University. Before joining the CUNY Law faculty, he was an Associate at Arnold and Porter in Washington, D.C., and he taught at Tulane School of Law and Arizona State University Colle...
Title:Imprisoned by the Past: Warren McCleskey and the American Death PenaltyFormat:HardcoverDimensions:448 pages, 9.41 × 6.42 × 1.3 inPublished:February 12, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199967938

ISBN - 13:9780199967933


Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroductionPart A - ProloguePrologue: America's MariettaPart B - A Killing in Georgia1. A Death in Dixie2. The Trial of Warren McCleskey3. Offie Evans and McCleskey v. ZantPart C - American Death Penalty History And the Courts4. The First Limits: The Early American Death Penalty through the 1850s5. Wars and Death Penalty Abolition: The Civil War Through Early 1900s6. A Time of Change: American Society and the Death Penalty 1950s through the 1960s7. Into the Courthouse: The 1970s Abolition Strategy8. A New Era: A New U.S. Death Penalty Returns in the Late 1970s9. Starting Over: Executions Resume in the 1970s and 1980sPart D - Lynching, Race, and McCleskey v. Kemp10. Lynching and Race in America11. Race and the Courts12. Warren McCleskey and the Baldus Study13. The Supreme Court and McCleskey v KempPart E - Execution14. Mitigation and Reform15. Warren McCleskey and the Electric Chair16. Other American Execution MethodsPart F - The Capital Punishment Debate Moves Outside the Courts after McCleskey17. The Unstoppable Death Penalty After McCleskey into the early 1990s18. New Abolitionist Voices in the 1990s19. Innocence and the American Death Penalty20. A Moratorium Movement Emerges in the 1990sPart G - McCleskey's Legacy in the Early Twenty-First Century21. The Early Twenty-First Century Death Penalty in the Courts22. The Early Twenty-First Century Death Penalty in U.S. Politics23. Escaping from Imprisonment of the PastPart H - EpilogueEpilogue: Warren McCleskey's Case and the American Death Penalty Today

Editorial Reviews

"No legal decision in the last half of the 20th century characterized America's continuing failure to confront its history of racial inequality more than the McCleskey decision. Jeff Kirchmeier's welcomed and insightful book brings much needed context and perspective to this criticallyimportant issue. Compelling and thoughtful, this book is a must read for those trying to understand America's death penalty and its sordid relationship to our failure to overcome three centuries of racial injustice." --Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative and author of Just Mercy: A Short Story of Justice and Redemption