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Division on Critical Criminology - American Society of Criminology


Death Penalty

From this day forward, I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death. For more than 20 years I have endeavored--indeed, I have struggled--along with a majority of this Court, to develop procedural and substantive rules that would lend more than the mere appearance of fairness to the death penalty endeavor. Rather than continue to coddle the Court's delusion that the desired level of fairness has been achieved and the need for regulation eviscerated, I feel morally and intellectually obligated simply to concede that the death penalty experiment has failed. It is virtually self evident to me now that no combination of procedural rules or substantive regulations ever can save the death penalty from its inherent constitutional deficiencies.

Justice Blackmun dissent, Callins v. Collins, 510 U.S. 1141 (1994)

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ASC Division on Critical Criminology - ACJS Section on Critical Criminology