Sangmin Bae is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Northeastern Illinois University.
Part one of this extensive analysis focuses on politics, legal history, multicultural issues, and the international aspects of the death penalty. Part two offers a regional analysis with essays that put death penalty issues into a geographic and cultural context. Part three focuses on specific states with emphasis on the need to understand capital punishment in terms of state law development, particularly because states determine on whom the death penalty will be imposed. Part four examines the various means of death, from hanging to lethal injection, in state law case studies. And finally, part five focuses on the portrayal of capital punishment in popular culture.
In Grave Injustice Richard A. Stack seeks to advance the anti–death penalty argument by examining the cases of individuals who, like Davis, have been executed but are likely innocent. By telling the stories of Jesse Tafero, Ruben Cantu, Carlos DeLuna, Cameron Todd Willingham, Larry Griffin, and others, Stack puts a human face on the ultimate and irrevocable tragedy of capital punishment.
Although polls indicate Americans favor death sentences approximately three to one, many respondents change their position when presented with the facts about capital punishment.
Stack's compelling descriptions of nineteen wrongful executions illustrate the flaws of the death penalty, which, he argues, is ineffective in deterring crime and costs more than sentences of life without parole. He demonstrates that racial disparities in implementation, procedural errors, incompetent defense attorneys, and mistaken eyewitness identifications lead to an alarming number of wrongful convictions. But influencing public opinion is only part of the battle to end state-sanctioned killing. Stack profiles six anti–death penalty warriors, demonstrating the range of what can be done, and what remains to be done, to move toward a more compassionate society.
Having grown rapidly since the 1990s, the field of human security has spawned a wide variety of academic research. This research has helped to reconceptualize the notion of security, both broadening and deepening it, and it has created a space where unconventional and multidimensional forms of security inform international policy practices. However, while various issues and cases of human security have received growing academic attention and policy interest, many of the existing books on human security focus primarily on non-state actors. This leaves a key question unanswered: why do sovereign states take on leadership roles in promoting human security?
To answer the question of why and how national governments influence international human security policy, this volume examines the domestic political factors and structures that mediate the range of policy choices. Important domestic variables include the ‘cultural match’ (e.g., ‘Does the country often favor multilateralism and promote a rule-bound international society?’), the nature of the political interests and realities that are present (e.g., ‘Does the country see the promotion of human security as a strategic choice?’), and the occurrence of important historical events such as wars, revolutions, or natural disasters (e.g., ‘Does the country, during the crisis, help to foster a new way of managing enduring security threats?’). Using this line of analysis, the book illuminates the role of the state in handling critical human security issues and its rationale for doing so.
This book will be of much interest to students of human security, peace studies, global governance, development studies and IR in general.