Aronson, Jay D. and Simon A. Cole. (2009). Science and the Death Penalty: DNA, Innocence, and the Debate over Capital Punishment in the United States. Law & Social Inquiry. 34 (3), 603-633.
This article argues that even with the advent of technology such as DNA, these sciences are still fundamentally problematic and able to make mistakes. With these mistakes in mind, it still leaves the possibility that innocent people will be executed. They argue that those who argue DNA is foolproof are engaging in a mythological notion of infallible science. The authors offer compelling evidence and both have strong credentials. This work offers a view that shows that even modern technology has not eliminated the issue of erroneous capital punishment and the killing of an innocent person.
Bohm, Robert M. (2011). Deathquest: An Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Capital Punishment. Elsevier Publishing, New York.
This book offers a wide history of the death penalty and a balanced view of the arguments for and against it. Rather than a polemical instance of a full support of my paper’s view, it offers a balanced view. This book is interesting because it gives a lot of support against the death penalty, such as a legal framework, a moral framework and thr historical framework of why its appeal is lessening. The scholar has a strong background and publication record on the issue.
Davis, Michael. (1996). Justice in the Shadow of Death: Rethinking Capital Punishment and Lesser Punishments. New York: Rowman & Littlefield.
This author systematically engages with the arguments for the death penalty and argues against them. He argues that the United States should join the majority of the rest of the modern world and outlaw the death penalty. He connects the death penalty to theories of punishment and argues against the entire premise of how it ties into the American understanding of criminal justice and punishment. The author uses systematic, clear arguments and has a strong publication history. This book will be useful in arguing against the death penalty in a systematic way.
Jacoby, Joseph E. and Raymond Paternoster. (1999). Sentencing Disparity and Jury Packing: Further Challenges to the Death Penalty. The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. 73(1), 379-387.
Rather than focus on morality or science, these authors argue that the judicial process is flawed. Issues such as court biases, judge biases, and other issues involved in a jury based trial, make an even wrong flawed aspect to the death penalty. Therefore, it is wrong because one can never know with certainty the guilt of the accused. This article will be helpful for the current project in order to argue that the process itself is plagued with immorality and risks of killing innocents is too great a risk.
Jacoby, Susan. (2008). The Age of American Unreason. New York: Random House.
Jacoby’s book is not a work entirely about the death penalty, but there is a section that argues against it. The author engages Supreme Court Justice Scalia, and argues that constitutionally it is on flimsy ground and is a cruel and unusual punishment.The author is a noted writer and adds an interesting component to the argument against the death penalty, mainly that it is a product of American intellectual laziness and an unwillingness to engage in critical thought about the death penalty.
McGann, Anthony and Wayne Sandholtz. (2012). Patterns of Death Penalty Abolition, 1960-2005, Domestic and International Factors. International Studies Quarterly. 56 (2), 275-289.
Echoing some of the earlier articles the author use extensive empirical evidence to argue that democratic liberal countries are more likely to abolish the death penalty. In essence, the more liberal and advanced a country is, the more likely they are to see the death penalty in a more negative light. This article would helpful in arguing that America, as a modern, advanced, democratic nation, should no longer be practicing the death penalty.
Mathias, Matthew D. (2013). The Sacralization of the Individual: Human Rights and the Abolition of the Death Penality. American Journal of Sociology. 118(5), 1246- 1283.
Owens, Erik C., John David Carlson and Eric P. Elshtain (Eds). (2004). Religion and the Death Penalty: A Call for Reckoning. New York: Wm. B. Eerdman Publishing.
This work is an anthology that brings together various scholars of religion to argue from that vantage point that the death penalty is immoral. Pulling from a variety of religious traditions, the authors form a voice of unison arguing against the death penalty. The book provides a variety of views, such as Islam and Christianity, and offers a more philosophical and ethical view on the matter. Since this work offers so many viewpoints, it is valuable in presenting many ways to view the same issue. It will be helpful to escape from just law and science and to argue the validity of moral arguments against the death penalty.
Parks, Peggy J. (2009). Does the Death Penalty Deter Crime? New York: Reference Point Press.
Parks’ work is a short book, but it offers a succinct view that statistically speaking the death penalty is ineffective. Drawing on criminal statistics and sociology, it argues that there is no evidence it does any good in preventing crime. The book provides hard evidence, on top of the other works on morality, that it does not help in any facet of society.
Radelet, Michael L. and Marian J. Borg. (2000). The Changing Nature of Death Penalty Debates. Review of Sociology. 26. 43-61.
This article is a wide survey on how the arguments surrounding the death penalty have developed and offers a range of arguments about its immorality and ineffectiveness. These include its cost; its possibility to execute innocent prisoners and offers a historical view that the trend is moving toward a widespread abolition. It argues that sociological literature proves that it does not act a deterrent to crime, and therefore has little value as a tool to prevent crime. The source is credible due to appearing in a journal that undergoes a peer review process and a strong grasp on the literature past and present on the issue. It is relevant to the current project because it makes the case for its weaknesses and argues that sociological research has shown its ineffectiveness as a deterrent and the growing trend toward its elimination.