The Death Penalty: A Reference Handbook (Contemporary World Issues) (Hardcover)

Before placing an order, please note:

  • You'll receive a confirmation email once your order is complete and ready for pickup. 
  • If you have a membership, please make a note of this in the order comments and we'll apply your discount.
  • If you place a pre-order in the same order as currently available titles, an additional shipping fee will be added to your order. 
  • Women & Children First is not responsible for lost or stolen packages.
The Death Penalty: A Reference Handbook (Contemporary World Issues) By Joseph A. Melusky, Keith A. Pesto Cover Image
Unavailable from our sources


Does the possibility of being put to death deter crime? Do the methods of execution matter? Is it possible for a state-ordered execution to be botched? Are innocent people ever sent to death row? Are there racial biases or other prejudices associated with the death penalty? This book examines the history of capital punishment in the United States; describes the significant issues, events, and cases; and addresses the controversies and legal issues surrounding capital punishment, making this important topic accessible to a wide range of readers.

The book presents both sides of the argument on whether capital punishment should continue or be abolished, looking at the evidence regarding whether it is necessary for carrying out justice and deterring violent crime or whether the practice is inhumane, ineffective, biased in its application, and costly. Readers will gain insights into how capital punishment should be used, if at all; whether effective safeguards are in place to ensure that only the guilty receive the death penalty; what crimes deserve this sentence; whether juveniles or individuals with diminished mental capacity should ever be sentenced to death; potentially viable alternatives to the death penalty; and the hidden costs involved in our capital punishment system that make it so expensive. The book also contains primary documents relevant to capital punishment, such as excerpts from documents like the U.S. Constitution, the Hittite case laws, and the Code of Hammurabi, as well as descriptions of and excerpts from key cases decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

About the Author

Joseph A. Melusky, PhD, is professor of political science at Saint Francis University (SFU), director of the SFU Center for the Study of Government and Law, and Coordinator of Public Administration/Government Service.Keith A. Pesto has been a magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania since 1994.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781440845499
ISBN-10: 1440845492
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
Publication Date: June 22nd, 2017
Pages: 392
Language: English
Series: Contemporary World Issues (Hardcover)