Cover image for Cruel and unusual punishment : rights and liberties under the law
Cruel and unusual punishment : rights and liberties under the law
Melusky, Joseph Anthony.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, Inc., [2003]

Physical Description:
xxiii, 376 pages ; 24 cm.
Introduction -- Origins and early development -- Twentieth-century issues -- Into the twenty-first century -- Key people, laws, and events -- Documents.
Added Author:
Format :


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Material Type
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KF9227.C2 M42 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
KF9227.C2 M42 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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In one of the lengthiest, noisiest, and hottest legal debates in U.S. history, Cruel and Unusual Punishment stands out as a levelheaded, even-handed, and thorough analysis of the issue.

âeuro;¢ A focused list of primary source documents includes the Magna Carta, the Northwest Ordinance, the 5th, 8th, and 14th Amendments, and excerpts from the Federalist Papers

âeuro;¢ Appendixes include tables and charts on public opinion on the death penalty, state statistics, federal sentencing guidelines, and a bibliography

Author Notes

Joseph A. Melusky is chair of the Department of History and Political Science at Saint Francis University, Loretto, PA.

Keith A. Pesto is a United States magistrate judge for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This work is part of the "America's Freedoms" series, which seeks to provide a concise and coherent background on constitutional freedoms as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. Cruel and Unusual Punishment achieves that purpose admirably. Readers will become better informed about the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, especially as it relates to the death penalty. The book is divided into six chapters. Chapter 1 offers a general introduction into the questions and issues raised by the cruel and unusual punishment clause and includes a short summary of the arguments for and against the death penalty. Chapter 2 provides a historical backdrop to the cruel and unusual punishment debate, which leads naturally into chapter 3 and the issues that defined the death penalty debate in the 20th century. Chapter 4 introduces a few ongoing issues in the 21st century, including competent counsel and alternatives to the death penalty. Each of these chapters concludes with very useful lists of "references and further reading." Chapter 5 contains a list of "key people, cases, and events," and chapter 6 includes historical documents on the death penalty as well as edited excerpts from 14 Supreme Court death penalty decisions. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Public, two-year, and four-year colleges; general readers and undergraduates. M. A. Foley Marywood University

Table of Contents

Series Forewordp. xi
Preface and Acknowledgmentsp. xxi
1 Introductionp. 1
Historyp. 7
The Constitution and the Death Penaltyp. 8
Voices of the Capital Punishment Debatep. 12
References and Further Readingp. 26
2 Origins and Early Developmentp. 29
America in the Era before Independencep. 29
The Founding Erap. 39
The Nineteenth Centuryp. 47
References and Further Readingp. 65
3 Twentieth-Century Issuesp. 67
Continuity and Changep. 67
Some Factsp. 70
Philosophyp. 74
Dreamsp. 80
From Weems to Furmanp. 87
From Furman to Greggp. 104
After Greggp. 111
References and Further Readingp. 136
4 Into the Twenty-First Centuryp. 139
Unresolved and New Issues for the Death Penaltyp. 139
Penalties Less Than Deathp. 155
Conditions of Confinementp. 162
References and Further Readingp. 175
5 Key People, Cases, and Eventsp. 177
6 Documentsp. 197
Code of Hammurabi, c. 1780 B.C.p. 197
The Bible, Book of Exodus, The Ten Commandments, c. 1300 B.C.p. 200
Code of Draco, c. 621 B.C.p. 201
The Magna Carta, June 15, 1215p. 202
The English Bill of Rights, 1689p. 203
The American Declaration of Independence, 1776p. 204
Ordinance of the Northwest Territory, 1787p. 207
Amendments to the U.S. Constitutionp. 208
"Speech in Favor of Capital Punishment," John Stuart Mill, April 21, 1868p. 209
Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), Encyclical of Pope John Paul II, March 25, 1995p. 213
American Bar Association Resolution on the Death Penalty, February 3, 1997p. 214
Message Supporting the Moratorium on the Death Penalty, the Dalai Lamap. 215
Gregg v. Georgia (1976)p. 217
Woodson v. North Carolina (1976)p. 226
Coker v. Georgia (1977)p. 229
Lockett v. Ohio (1978)p. 235
Enmund v. Florida (1982)p. 242
Solem v. Helm (1983)p. 249
Ford v. Wainwright (1986)p. 256
Tison v. Arizona (1987)p. 262
McCleskey v. Kemp (1987)p. 270
Penry v. Lynaugh (1989)p. 283
Stanford v. Kentucky (1989)p. 291
Harmelin v. Michigan (1991)p. 302
Atkins v. Virginia (2002)p. 314
Ring v. Arizona (2002)p. 323
Chronology of Capital Punishmentp. 329
Table of Casesp. 333
Appendix Datap. 339
Annotated Bibliographyp. 349
Indexp. 361