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INRW 0399 SO TYRER: Boooks

Resources for INRW 0399 about arguments for and against the death penalty.

Books at TCC Library

Below are some of the print and electronic books available for checkout at the TCC Libraries. 

See the boxes to the left to learn how to find other books on this topic of the death penalty. 

How to find print books

  1. Go to the TCC Library homepage
  2. Use the TCC Catalog and select In the Library
  3. Enter search keywords the same way that you would to search for electronic books or even articles in a database
  4. When you find the book you need, click the title of the book and see which campus the book is available at
  5. If the book is at another campus, select Sign In next to the request options so you can request it be sent to your campus
  6. Log in with your myTCC username and password if prompted

How to find Ebooks?

  1. Go to the TCC Library homepage
  2. Use the TCC Catalog and select Ebooks
  3. Enter search keywords the same way that you would search for physical books or even articles in a database
  4. When you find the ebook you need, click Available Online to open it.
  5. Log in with your myTCC username and password if prompted

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Print Books

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Against the Death Penalty

A landmark dissenting opinion arguing against the death penalty. Does the death penalty violate the Constitution? In Against the Death Penalty, Justice Stephen Breyer argues that it does; that it is carried out unfairly and inconsistently and, thus, violates the ban on "cruel and unusual punishments" specified by the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution. 

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Capital Punishment

Societies throughout history have struggled to find appropriate responses to all types of crime— from kidnapping

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Capital Punishment

Antonin Scalia, Scott Turrow, and James S. Liebman are among the authors included in this recently updated volume examining the ethics and administration of the death penalty. Chapters include: Is Capital Punishment an Effective Deterrent to Crime? Should Capital Punishment Be Reformed?

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The Death Penalty

The United States is divided about the death penalty--17 states have banned it, while the remaining states have not. From wrongful convictions to botched executions, capital punishment is fraught with controversy. In The Death Penalty: What's Keeping It Alive, award-winning criminal defense attorney Andrea Lyon turns a critical eye toward the reasons why the death penalty remains active in most states, in spite of well-documented flaws in the justice system. 

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Death Penalty on Trial

An extensive survey of the pros and cons, evolution, and current issues surrounding one of the hottest topics in today's social debates. Death Penalty on Trial: A Handbook with Cases, Laws, and Documents sifts through the rhetoric, politics, and emotion that characterize one of the most highly discussed, yet least understood issues facing the United States today. 

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Debating the Death Penalty

When news breaks that a convicted murderer, released from prison, has killed again, or that an innocent person has escaped the death chamber in light of new DNA evidence, arguments about capital punishment inevitably heat up. Few controversies continue to stir as much emotion as this one, and public confusion is often the result. 

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Hell Is a Very Small Place

The UN Special Report on Torture has denounced the use of solitary confinement beyond 15 days as a form of cruel and degrading treatment that often rises to the level of torture. Yet the United States holds more than 80,000 people in isolation on any given day.

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Intellectual Disability and the Death Penalty

Providing key information for students or professionals in the fields of criminology, education, psychology, law, and law enforcement, this book documents the legal and clinical aspects of the issues related to intellectual disability and the death penalty.

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Locked down, Locked Out

Through the stories of prisoners and their families, including her own family's experiences, Maya Schenwar shows how the institution that locks up 2.3 million Americans and decimates poor communities of color is shredding the ties that, if nurtured, could foster real collective safety. As she vividly depicts here, incarceration takes away the very things that might enable people to build better lives. 

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The Meaning of Life

In a forceful and necessary argument, Marc Mauer and Ashley Nellis of The Sentencing Project argue that there is no practical or moral justification for a sentence longer than twenty years. In fact, harsher sentences have been shown to have little effect on the crime rate system.

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Old Sparky

In early 2013, Robert Gleason became the latest victim of the electric chair, a peculiarly American execution method. Shouting Pog mo thin ("Kiss my ass" in Gaelic) he grinned electricity shot through his system. When the current was switched off his body slumped against the leather restraints, and Gleeson, who had strangled two fellow inmates to ensure his execution was not postponed, was dead. 


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Capital Punishment

What are the critical factors that determine whether a country replaces, retains or restores the death penalty? Why do some countries maintain the death penalty in theory but in reality rarely invoke it? By asking these questions, the editors hope to isolate the core issues that influence the formulation of legislation so that they can be incorporated into strategies for advising governments considering changes to their policy on capital punishment. They also seek to redress the imbalance in research, which tends to focus almost exclusively on the experience of the USA, by covering a range of countries such as South Korea, Lithuania, Japan and the British Caribbean Commonwealth. This valuable contribution to the debates around capital punishment contains contributions from leading academics, campaigners and legal practitioners and will be an important resource for students, academics, NGOs, policy makers, lawyers and jurists.

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Capital Punishment and Latino Offenders

Urbina reviews historical relationships between African Americans, Caucasians, and Latinos/Hispanics, proposes the four-threat theory of death sentence outcomes; tests for racial and ethnic effects, and examines the death penalty by the totality of its outcomes. Urbina finds support for orthodox theories of punishment, and partial support for the four-threat theory. This theory suggests that racial and ethnic minorities are not treated the same by the criminal justice system. He also finds that discrimination is not a phenomenon of the past or restricted to commutations and executions; the death penalty must be analyzed by the totality of its outcomes.

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Courting Death

Refusing to eradicate the death penalty, the U.S. has attempted to reform and rationalize capital punishment through federal constitutional law. While execution chambers remain active in several states, Carol Steiker and Jordan Steiker argue that the fate of the American death penalty is likely to be sealed by this failed judicial experiment.

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Crime, Punishment, and Mental Illness

Hundreds of thousands of the inmates who populate the nation's jails and prison systems today are identified as mentally ill. Many experts point to the deinstitutionalization of mental hospitals in the 1960s, which led to more patients living on their own, as the reason for this high rate of incarceration. But this explanation does not justify why our society has chosen to treat these people with punitive measures.     In Crime, Punishment, and Mental Illness, Patricia E. Erickson and Steven K. Erickson explore how societal beliefs about free will and moral responsibility have shaped current policies and they identify the differences among the goals, ethos, and actions of the legal and healthcare systems. atment.

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Deadly Justice

In 1976, the US Supreme Court ruled in Gregg v. Georgia that the death penalty was constitutional if it complied with certain specific provisions designed to ensure that it was reserved for the "worst of the worst." The same court had rejected the death penalty just four years before in the Furman decision because it found that the penalty had been applied in a capricious and arbitrary manner. The 1976 decision ushered in the "modern" period of the US death penalty, setting the country on a course to execute over 1,400 inmates in the ensuing years, with over 8,000 individuals currently sentenced to die. 

The Death Penalty

The United States is divided about the death penalty--17 states have banned it, while the remaining states have not. From wrongful convictions to botched executions, capital punishment is fraught with controversy. In The Death Penalty: What's Keeping It Alive, award-winning criminal defense attorney Andrea Lyon turns a critical eye towards the reasons why the death penalty remains active in most states, in spite of well-documented flaws in the justice system. The book opens with an overview of the history of the death penalty in America, then digs into the reasons capital punishment is a fixture in the justice system of most states. 

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Deterrence and the Death Penalty

Many studies during the past few decades have sought to determine whether the death penalty has any deterrent effect on homicide rates. Researchers have reached widely varying, even contradictory, conclusions. Some studies have concluded that the threat of capital punishment deters murders, saving large numbers of lives; other studies have concluded that executions actually increase homicides; still others, that executions have no effect on murder rates. Commentary among researchers, advocates, and policymakers on the scientific validity of the findings has sometimes been acrimonious. 

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Dialogues on the Ethics of Capital Punishment

One in the series New Dialogues in Philosophy, edited by the author himself, Dale Jacquette presents a fictional dialogue over a three-day period on the ethical complexities of capital punishment. Jacquette moves his readers from outlining basic issues in matters of life and death, to questions of justice and compassion, with a concluding dialogue on the conditional and unconditional right to life. Jacquette's characters talk plainly and thoughtfully about the death penalty, and readers are left to determine for themselves how best to think about the morality of putting people to death.

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Encyclopedia of Capital Punishment in the United States

This updated encyclopedia provides ready information on all aspects of capital punishment in America. It details virtually every capital punishment decision rendered by the United States Supreme Court through 2006, including more than 40 cases decided since the publication of the first edition. Entries are also provided for each Supreme Court Justice who has ever rendered a capital punishment opinion. Entries on jurisdictions cite present-day death penalty laws and judicial structure state by state, with synopses of common and unique features. t.

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An Expendable Man

How is it possible for an innocent man to come within nine days of execution? An Expendable Man answers that question through detailed analysis of the case of Earl Washington Jr., a mentally retarded, black farm hand who was convicted of the 1983 rape and murder of a 19-year-old mother of three in Culpeper, Virginia. He spent almost 18 years in Virginia prisons--9 1/2 of them on death row--for a murder he did not commit. This book reveals the relative ease with which individuals who live at society's margins can be wrongfully convicted, and the extraordinary difficulty of correcting such a wrong once it occurs. Washington was eventually freed in February 2001 not because of the legal and judicial systems, but in spite of them. 

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Gruesome Spectacles

Gruesome Spectacles tells the sobering history of botched, mismanaged, and painful executions in the U.S. from 1890 to the present. Since the book's initial publication in 2014, the cruel and unusual executions of a number of people on death row, including Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma and Joseph Wood in Arizona, have made headlines and renewed vigorous debate surrounding the death penalty in America. Austin Sarat's book instantly became an essential resource for citizens, scholars, and lawmakers interested in capital punishment--even the Supreme Court, which cited the book in its recent opinion, Glossip v. Gross. 

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An urgent exposéf the mental health crisis in our courts, jails, and prisons America has made mental illness a crime. Jails in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago each house more people with mental illnesses than any hospital. As many as half of all people in America's jails and prisons have a psychiatric disorder. One in four fatal police shootings involves a person with such disorders. In this revelatory book, journalist Alisa Roth goes deep inside the criminal justice system to show how and why it has become a warehouse where inmates are denied proper treatment, abused, and punished in ways that make them sicker.

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Lethal Injection

Few state issues have attracted as much controversy and national attention as the application of the death penalty in Texas. In the years since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, Texas has led the nation in passing death sentences and executing prisoners. The vigor with which Texas has implemented capital punishment has, however, raised more than a few questions. Why has Texas been so fervent in pursuing capital punishment? Has an aggressive death penalty produced any benefits? Have dangerous criminals been deterred? Have rights been trampled in the process and, most importantly, have innocents been executed? 

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Race, Ethnicity and Crime

This fresh new textbook to balance theory and the real world, addressing topics relating to race, ethnicity, criminality and criminalization, looking at the criminal justice system, the media, and the death penalty. In addition to information on crime and incarceration rates, White-collar crime, and the OC typical criminal, OCO the discussion of minorities and public perceptions is set within a broader context including the issues of terrorism and human trafficking, where race and ethnicity are also vital to public perceptions."

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Total Confinement

In this rare firsthand account, Lorna Rhodes takes us into a hidden world that lies at the heart of the maximum security prison. Focusing on the "supermaximums"--and the mental health units that complement them--Rhodes conveys the internal contradictions of a system mandated to both punish and treat. Her often harrowing, sometimes poignant, exploration of maximum security confinement includes vivid testimony from prisoners and prison workers, describes routines and practices inside prison walls, and takes a hard look at the prison industry.