Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New book: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment

I just heard about this new publication via my Twitter account (@iqmobile).  I do not have a copy nor have I read any reviews.  Below is a description of the contents.  I've highlighted the section that indicates that it does touch on the issue of capital punishment and mental retardation.  If anyone has read this book and would like to provide comments related to the them of this blog, please use the "comment" feature and/or email me comments for a possible guest blog post.

The documents section of the volume includes:
  • Selections from key Supreme Court decisions, both majority opinions and dissents

  • Amici briefs by a variety of organizations

  • Selections from proponents and opponents of capital punishment

  • Legislative debates on proposed moratoriums on capital punishment that took place in Nebraska, Vermont and Illinois during the past few years

  • Congressional debate on the Racial Justice Act

  • Statistical studies such as that conducted by Iowa law professor David Baldus
Important topics covered in Supreme Court and Capital Punishment include the following:
  • Judicial philosophies on the death penalty throughout the history of the Court

  • Debate over the execution of juveniles, the mentally retarded, and the insane

  • Race and capital punishment

  • Constitutionality of methods of execution

  • Changing public opinion and its impact on capital punishment