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capital punishment and the making of America, 1683–1807
Executing Democracy: Capital Punishment & the Making of America, 1683-1807 is the first volume of a rhetorical history of public debates about crime, violence, and capital punishment in America. This examination begins in 1683, when William Penn first struggled to govern the rowdy indentured servants of Philadelphia, and continues up until 1807, when the Federalists sought to impose law-and-order upon the New Republic.
This volume offers a lively historical overview of how crime, violence, and capital punishment influenced the settling of the New World, the American Revolution, and the frantic post-war political scrambling to establish norms that would govern the new republic.
By presenting a macro-historical overview, and by filling the arguments with voices from different political camps and communicative genres, Hartnett provides readers with fresh perspectives for understanding the centrality of public debates about capital punishment to the history of American democracy.
Contemporary Religious Discourse on the Death Penalty
With passion and precision, Exile and Embrace examines the key elements of the religious debates over capital punishment and shows how they reflect the values and self-understandings of contemporary Americans. Santoro demonstrates that capital punishment has relatively little to do with the perpetrators and much more to do with those who would impose the punishment. Because of this, he convincingly argues, we should focus our attention not on the perpetrators and victims, as is typically the case in debates pro and con about the death penalty, but on ourselves and on the mechanisms that we use to impose or oppose the death penalty.
An important book that will appeal to those involved in the death penalty debate and to general religious studies and American studies scholars, as well.
Incarceration and Transitions to Adulthood among Urban Youth
Parenting from Within the Juvenile Justice System
Crime and young fatherhood have generally been viewed as separate social problems. Increasingly, researchers are finding that these problems are closely related and highly concentrated in low-income communities. Fatherhood Arrested is an in-depth study of these issues and the difficulties of parenting while in prison and on parole. By taking us inside the prison system, Nurse shows how its structure actively shapes an inmate's relationship with his children. For example, visitation is sometimes restricted to blood relatives and wives. Because relationships between unmarried men and the mothers of their children are often strained, some mothers are unwilling to allow their children to go to the prison with the inmate's family. Or the father may be allowed to receive visits from only one "girlfriend," which forces a man with multiple relationships, or with children by different women, to make impossible choices. Special attention is paid to the gendered nature of prison, its patriarchal and punitive structure, and its high-stress environment. The book then follows newly paroled men as they are released and return to their children. The author spent four years doing research at the California Youth Authority, during which time she surveyed 258 paroled fathers. The group included young white, black, and Latino men, ages sixteen to twenty-five. She conducted in-depth interviews with men selected from this group, participated in forty parenting class sessions, and observed visiting hours at three different institutions. The data provide fascinating information about the characteristics of the men, their attitudes toward fatherhood, and the ways they are involved with their children. The diversity of the fathers allows for an analysis of racial and ethnic variation in their attitudes and involvement. The study concludes with a series of policy suggestions, especially important in light of the large number of fathers now living under the care and control of the juvenile justice system. "Fatherhood Arrested provides a timely, thoughtful analysis of a pressing social problem-how the justice system thwarts the relationship between young fathers and their children. Nurse's study illuminates the mechanisms by which models of individual account-ability work in contradictory ways with regard to parental responsibility and criminal justice to damage familial bonds, and proposes concrete, rational suggestions for social change. Her careful integration of survey and qualitative research provides a model for blending methodologies. The result is a well-written, engaging work that offers a compelling picture of the human side of incarcerated young men. This book deserves a wide readership." --Jody Miller, author of One of the Guys: Girls, Gangs, and Gender
New Perspectives on Gender and Violence
Cutting edge research into trends and social contexts of girls' violence. Have girls really gone wild? Despite the media fascination with “bad girls,” facts beyond the hype have remained unclear. Fighting for Girls focuses on these facts, and using the best data availabe about actual trends in girls’ uses of violence, the scholars here find that by virtually any measure available, incidents of girls’ violence are going down, not up. Additionally, rather than attributing girls violence to personality or to girls becoming “more like boys,” Fighting for Girls focuses on the contexts that produce violence in girls, demonstrating how addressing the unique problems that confront girls in dating relationships, families, school hallways and classrooms, and in distressed urban neighborhoods can help reduce girls’ use of violence. Often including girls’ own voices, contributors to the volume illustrate why girls use violence in certain situations, encouraging us to pay attention to trauma in the girls’ pasts as well as how violence becomes a tool girls use to survive toxic families, deteriorated neighborhoods, and neglectful schools.
Inside the Experience of Capital Defense Attorneys
How do attorneys who represent clients facing the death penalty cope with the stress and trauma of their work? Through conversations with twenty of the most experienced and dedicated post-conviction capital defenders in the United States, Fighting for Their Lives explores this emotional territory for the first time. What it is like for these capital defenders in their last visits or phone calls with clients who are about to be taken to the execution chamber? Or the next mornings, in their lives with their families, in their dreams and flashbacks and moments alone in the car? What is it like to do this work year after year? (These attorneys had, on average, spent nineteen years doing capital defense.)
Through vivid interviews amplified by the author's responses and commentary, these attorneys reveal aspects of their internal experience that they have never talked about until now. How do capital defenders manage the weight of the responsibility they carry? To what extent do they experience symptoms of trauma in the aftermath of losing a client to execution or as a result of the cumulative effects of engaging in capital defense work? What motivates them, and what do they draw upon, in order to keep engaging in such emotionally demanding work? Have they considered practicing other types of law? What can we learn from capital defenders not only about the deep and long-term effects of the death penalty but also about broader human questions of hope, effectiveness, success, failure, strength, fragility, and perseverance?
Desegregation of the Texas Prison System
Decades after the U.S. Supreme Court and certain governmental actions struck down racial segregation in the larger society, American prison administrators still boldly adhered to discriminatory practices. Not until 1975 did legislation prohibit racial segregation and discrimination in Texas prisons. However, vestiges of this practice endured behind prison walls. Charting the transformation from segregation to desegregation in Texas prisons—which resulted in Texas prisons becoming one of the most desegregated places in America—First Available Cell chronicles the pivotal steps in the process, including prison director George J. Beto’s 1965 decision to allow inmates of different races to co-exist in the same prison setting, defying Southern norms. The authors also clarify the significant impetus for change that emerged in 1972, when a Texas inmate filed a lawsuit alleging racial segregation and discrimination in the Texas Department of Corrections. Perhaps surprisingly, a multiracial group of prisoners sided with the TDC, fearing that desegregated housing would unleash racial violence. Members of the security staff also feared and predicted severe racial violence. Nearly two decades after the 1972 lawsuit, one vestige of segregation remained in place: the double cell. Revealing the aftermath of racial desegregation within that 9 x 5 foot space, First Available Cell tells the story of one of the greatest social experiments with racial desegregation in American history.
Rediscovering Crime, Law, and Social Change
This is the first comprehensive, accessible, and integrative overview of postmodernism’s contribution to law, criminology, and social justice. The book begins by reviewing the major contributions of eleven prominent figures responsible for the development of French postmodern social theory. This “first” wave includes Roland Barthes, Jean Baudrillard, Hélène Cixous, Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Félix Guattari, Luce Irigaray, Julia Kristeva, Jacques Lacan, and Jean-François Lyotard. Their respective insights are then linked to “second” wave scholars who have appropriated their conceptualizations and applied them to pressing issues in law, crime, and social justice research. Compelling and concrete examples are provided for how affirmative and integrative postmodern inquiry can function meaningfully in the world of criminal justice. Topics explored include confinement law and prison resistance; critical race theory and a jurisprudence of color; media/literary studies and feminism; restorative justice and victim-offender mediation processes; and the emergence of social movements, including innocence projects and intentional communities.
Trafficking and Terrorist Networks, Government Bureaucracies, and Competitive Adaptation
From Pablo to Osama is a comparative study of Colombian drug-smuggling enterprises, terrorist networks (including al Qaeda), and the law enforcement agencies that seek to dismantle them. Drawing on a wealth of research materials, including interviews with former drug traffickers and other hard-to-reach informants, Michael Kenney explores how drug traffickers, terrorists, and government officials gather, analyze, and apply knowledge and experience. The analysis reveals that the resilience of the Colombian drug trade and Islamist extremism in wars on drugs and terrorism stems partly from the ability of illicit enterprises to change their activities in response to practical experience and technical information, store this knowledge in practices and procedures, and select and retain routines that produce satisfactory results. Traffickers and terrorists “learn,” building skills, improving practices, and becoming increasingly difficult for state authorities to eliminate. The book concludes by exploring theoretical and policy implications, suggesting that success in wars on drugs and terrorism depends less on fighting illicit networks with government intelligence and more on conquering competency traps—traps that compel policymakers to exploit militarized enforcement strategies repeatedly without questioning whether these programs are capable of producing the intended results.
Prisons and Religion in Antebellum America
Initially, state and prison officials welcomed Protestant reformers' and ministers' recommendations, particularly their ideas about inmate suffering and redemption. Over time, however, officials proved less receptive to the reformers' activities, and inmates also opposed them. Ensuing debates between reformers, officials, and inmates revealed deep disagreements over religion's place in prisons and in the wider public sphere as the separation of church and state took hold and the nation's religious environment became more diverse and competitive. Examining the innovative New York prison system, Graber shows how Protestant reformers failed to realize their dreams of large-scale inmate conversion or of prisons that reflected their values. To keep a foothold in prisons, reformers were forced to relinquish their Protestant terminology and practices and instead to adopt secular ideas about American morals, virtues, and citizenship. Graber argues that, by revising their original understanding of prisoner suffering and redemption, reformers learned to see inmates' afflictions not as a necessary prelude to a sinner's experience of grace but as the required punishment for breaking the new nation's laws.