Austin Sarat is William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science, Five College Fortieth Anniversary Professor, and Senior Advisor to the Dean of the Faculty at Amherst College. Professor Sarat founded both Amherst College Department of Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought and The Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities, a national scholarly association. He is former President of that association and has also served as President of the Law and Society Association of the Consortium of Undergraduate Law and Justice Programs. He is author or editor of more than sixty books, including The Killing State: Capital Punishment in Law, Politics, and Culture; When the State Kills: Capital Punishment and the American Condition; The Cultural Lives of Capital Punishment: Comparative Perspectives; Law, Violence, and the Possibility of Justice; Pain, Death, and the Law; Mercy on Trial: What It Means to Stop an Execution; When Law Fails: Making Sense of Miscarriages of Justice; and Capital Punishment, two volumes. His most recent book is The Road to Abolition? He is currently writing a book entitled Hollywood's Law: What Movies Do for Democracy. He is editor of the journal Law, Culture and the Humanities and of Studies in Law, Politics, and Society. Professor Sarat has received numerous prizes and awards, including the Harry Kalven Award, given by the Law Society Association for istinguished research on law and society the Reginald Heber Smith Award, given biennially to honor the best scholarship on he subject of equal access to justice and the James Boyd White Award from the Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities, given for distinguished scholarly achievement and utstanding and innovativecontributions to the humanistic study of law.
Jennifer L. Culbert is an Associate Professor in the Political Science department at Johns Hopkins University where she teaches courses in political theory and jurisprudence. She is the author of Dead Certainty: The Death Penalty and the Problem of Judgment (Stanford University Press, 2008).
In a bold attempt to tackle the looming question of how and why the connection between race and the death penalty has been so strong throughout American history, Ogletree and Sarat headline an interdisciplinary cast of experts in reflecting on this disturbing issue. Insightful original essays approach the topic from legal, historical, cultural, and social science perspectives to show the ways that the death penalty is racialized, the places in the death penalty process where race makes a difference, and the ways that meanings of race in the United States are constructed in and through our practices of capital punishment.
From Lynch Mobs to the Killing State not only uncovers the ways that race influences capital punishment, but also attempts to situate the linkage between race and the death penalty in the history of this country, in particular the history of lynching. In its probing examination of how and why the connection between race and the death penalty has been so strong throughout American history, this book forces us to consider how the death penalty gives meaning to race as well as why the racialization of the death penalty is uniquely American.