Capital Punishment in the United States: A Documentary History

By Bryan Vila ; Cynthia Morris | Go to book overview

Series Foreword

This series is designed to meet the research needs of students, scholars, and other interested readers by making available in one volume the key primary documents on a given historical event or contemporary issue. Documents include speeches, debates and letters, congressional testimony, Supreme Court and lower court decisions, government reports, biographical accounts, position papers, statutes, and news stories.

The purpose of the series is twofold: (1) to provide substantive and background material on an event or issue through the text of pivotal primary documents that shaped policy or law, raised controversy, or influenced the course of events; and (2) to trace the controversial aspects of the event or issue through documents that represent a variety of viewpoints. Documents for each volume have been selected by a recognized specialist in that subject with the advice of a board of other subject specialists, school librarians, and teachers.

To place the subject in historical perspective, the volume editor has prepared an introductory overview and a chronology of events. Documents are organized either chronologically or topically. The documents are full text or, if unusually long, have been excerpted by the volume editor. To facilitate understanding, each document is accompanied by an explanatory introduction. Suggestions for further reading follow the document or the chapter.

It is the hope of Greenwood Press that this series will enable students and other readers to use primary documents more easily in their research, to exercise critical thinking skills by examining the key documents in American history and public policy, and to critique the variety of viewpoints represented by this selection of documents.

-xix-

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Capital Punishment in the United States: A Documentary History
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Copyright Acknowledgments v
  • Contents xi
  • Series Foreword xix
  • Preface xxi
  • Introduction xxv
  • Note xxxv
  • Significant Dates in the History of Capital Punishment xxxvii
  • Part I - Early Views on Capital Punishment: Colonial Era to Independence 1
  • Note 12
  • Part II - The Abolition Movement Gains Ground, 1800-1917 31
  • Note 37
  • Note 52
  • Note 66
  • Part III - War and Economic Depression Overshadow Capital Punishment, 1918-1959 75
  • Note 90
  • Note 102
  • Part IV - Capital Punishment in the Courts, 1960-1976 109
  • Note 128
  • Note 141
  • Note 152
  • Note 157
  • Note 162
  • Part V - The Debate Begins Anew, 1977-1989 169
  • Note 178
  • Note 181
  • Note 186
  • Note 190
  • Note 192
  • Note 208
  • Note 231
  • Part VI - The Death Penalty in the 1990s: Contemporary Issues 247
  • Note 287
  • Note 289
  • Glossary 301
  • Appendix A - Federal and State Capital Offenses in the United States 303
  • Appendix B - U.S. Executions: Colonial Times to 1995 309
  • Appendix C - Selected U.S. Supreme Court Cases 311
  • Appendix D - Capital Punishment Interest Groups and Related Organizations 313
  • Select Bibliography 315
  • Index 327
  • About the Editors *
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