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Imprisoned by the PastWarren McCleskey and the American Death Penalty$
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Jeffrey L. Kirchmeier

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199967933

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199967933.001.0001

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The Early Twenty-First Century Death Penalty in U.S. Politics

The Early Twenty-First Century Death Penalty in U.S. Politics

Chapter:
Chapter 22 The Early Twenty-First Century Death Penalty in U.S. Politics
Source:
Imprisoned by the Past
Author(s):

Jeffrey L. Kirchmeier

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199967933.003.0023

This chapter recounts the changing political landscape of the death penalty and how a number of state legislatures abolished the death penalty during the early 2000s in one of the country’s most active death penalty abolition periods. McCleskey v. Kemp affirmed that the U.S. death penalty would have to be abolished through the political system instead of through the judicial system. And, in the early twenty-first century, citizens and politicians began reassessing the value of the death penalty. Some legislatures attempted to address McCleskey’s racial discrimination issue with Racial Justice Acts, while other legislatures opted to abolish capital punishment completely.

Keywords:   political system, legislatures, death penalty abolition, capital punishment, death penalty, racial discrimination, Racial Justice Act

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