The role of capital punishment in America has been criticised by those for and against the death penalty, by the judiciary, academics, the media and by prison personnel. This book demonstrates that it is the inconsistent and often incoherent jurisprudence of the United States Supreme Court which accounts for a system so lacking in public confidence. Using case studies, Kenneth Williams examines issues such as jury selection, ineffective assistance of counsel, the role of race and claims of innocence which affect the Court's decisions and how these decisions are played out in the lower courts, often an inmate's last recourse before execution. Discussing international treaties and their lack of impact on capital punishment in America, this book has international appeal and makes an important contribution to legal scholarship. It also provides a unique understanding of the dynamics of an alarmingly problematic system and will be valuable to those interested in human rights and criminal justice.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd