Legal Lynching: Racism, Injustice, and the Death Penalty

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9781569247617: Legal Lynching: Racism, Injustice, and the Death Penalty
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The African-American activist argues the case against the death penalty, examining its recent history and revealing how it disproportionately affects blacks and sometimes leads to the killing of innocent defendants. 50,000 first printing. IP.

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Few leaders in American public life can speak with the moral authority of Jesse Jackson. Regardless of what you think of his politics or rhetorical style, Jackson can take debate to places where most public leaders dare not tread. In Legal Lynching, Jackson bravely takes aim at capital punishment. The argument he makes is not all bluster and bravado or simple preaching to the choir. Jackson recites the specifics of cases in which innocent men were sentenced to death--and even executed. He does not deny the popularity of the punishment, rather the purpose of his argument is to make it less popular. The racial injustice of sentencing and the application of capital punishment come in for particular attention, as Jackson sketches the moral case for reforming the American criminal justice system to conform with what he sees as morally sound notions of justice and human rights.

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Jackson has performed many functions over the years, among them preacher, prophet, and political candidate. But this is his first book: an accessible recapitulation of the arguments that have convinced most of the world's industrialized nations to end capital punishment. Using vivid factual incidents to humanize statistics and legal analysis, Jackson describes capital punishment's history and effective alternatives to "legal lynching" (notably, variants on life-without-parole); examines the constitutional, moral, and theological questions that the death penalty raises; traces the impact of geography, race, sex, and economic status on U.S. sentencing patterns; explains how new limits on habeas corpus appeals increase the risk that innocent people will be executed; presents the research controversy over whether capital punishment does more to deter criminals or to brutalize society; and explores the blend of misinformation, doubts, and prejudice underlying the support for capital punishment displayed in public opinion polls. Though he has sometimes been a polarizing figure, here, as in his political campaigns, Jackson addresses all Americans, sharing his profound conviction that "because it is morally wrong, but also . . . unevenly and unfairly implemented, . . . humanity can no longer tolerate the death penalty." Mary Carroll

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9781569247068: Legal Lynching

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ISBN 10:  1569247064 ISBN 13:  9781569247068
Publisher: Da Capo Press, 1997
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9781882605248: Legal Lynching: Racism, Injustice and the Death Penalty

Natl P..., 1996
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