Cover image for Encyclopedia of capital punishment
Encyclopedia of capital punishment
Grossman, Mark.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, [1998]

Physical Description:
xii, 330 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV8694 .G76 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Capital punishment is a contested topic of debate throughout the world, and in the United States - the only Western nation still retaining the death penalty - the subject is especially controversial. This book hopes to provide a nonpartisan view of capital punishment, including coverage of issues and attitudes in countries where capital punishment has been abandoned.

Author Notes

Mark Grossman is a professional writer specializing in American and world history, constitutional law, and the environment. He is the author of ABC-CLIO's award winning Encyclopedia of the Persian Gulf War .

Reviews 2

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up‘Alphabetically arranged articles cover every aspect the subject: court cases, organizations, people who have been executed (including kings, queens, and consorts), novels and manuscripts, last words, execution methods, and more. The articles, which range in length from two-or-three paragraphs to two pages, are sometimes gruesome and always fascinating. They are written in a conversational style and each one is followed by a list of sources. Some have cross-references to other articles. Appendixes include a lengthy bibliography of books, articles, and reports; a time line that begins with Hammurabi's Code and goes to 1994; and a comprehensive index. Most titles on the death penalty discuss the issues (e.g., Paul A. Winters's The Death Penalty [Greenhaven, 1996]) or concentrate on one area, such as court cases (e.g., Stephen A. Flanders's Capital Punishment [Facts On File, 1991]). This book covers more aspects of the subject without bias and will be of interest for both reports and browsing.‘Dana McDougald, Cedar Shoals High School, Athens, GA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Providing information on the history, policy, and administration of the death penalty, this subject encyclopedia focuses on the individuals involved in the implementation of this punishment, those opposed to it, and those who suffer its consequences. The work is international in scope, separating it from other titles covering this topic. The entries, which are alphabetically arranged, provide relatively inconsistent kinds and quantities of information, emphasizing the most sensational elements of specific crimes or of the executions themselves. Some entries would be more effective if broken into smaller notations, and cross-references are sparse. For example, there is no independent entry or even a cross-reference for capital punishment opponent Helen Prejean; one must locate biographical information about her under the entry for the book and movie Dead Man Walking. The index must be used to access the work's information adequately. Grossman's book serves as an acceptable supplement to other works pertaining to this perennially hot topic or to libraries with comprehensive collections in this subject. M. A. Allan; New Mexico State University