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Social Work, Criminal Justice, and the Death Penalty$
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Lauren A. Ricciardelli

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190937232

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190937232.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 07 July 2022

Going, Going, Gone

Going, Going, Gone

The Death of Capital Punishment in the 21st Century

(p.3) Chapter 1 Going, Going, Gone
Social Work, Criminal Justice, and the Death Penalty

Marc Bookman

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the diminishing use of the death penalty in the United States in the modern era. During the early 1800s, executions were practically celebrations, with merchants selling souvenirs and alcohol to thousands of onlookers. Such spectacles, which often included cursing at the widow and tearing down the scaffold and cutting the rope, prompted states to require private hangings. By the middle of the century, a majority had determined that executions were bringing out the worst in its citizenry. Despite excessive costs, bad lawyering, discrimination, procedural mistakes, and horrifyingly botched killings, execution in the United States persists—for now. Although 60% of the states and the federal government continue to maintain the policy, only a small percentage of states are actively pursuing executions.

Keywords:   arbitrariness, botched execution, compounding pharmacy, exoneration, false confession

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