America Without the Death Penalty: States Leading the Way

By John F. Galliher / Larry W. Koch / Northeastern / Teresa J. Guess, on 1 January 2002

Twelve states and the District of Columbia do not impose the death penalty. The authors, all sociology professors at American universities, use the case-study method to examine why this is so. The factors they consider include murder rates, the history of executions, economic circumstances, public opinion, mass media, population diversity, and each state’s abolition of the death penalty. They also examine the role of a state’s social, cultural, and economic leaders in public debate on capital punishment. The states studied are Michigan, Wisconsin, Maine, Minnesota, North Dakota, Alaska, Hawaii, Iowa, and West Virginia, though there is also some discussion of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the District of Columbia. Media reports and government documents were reviewed and legislators, civil servants, journalists, death-penalty activists, and others interviewed. Throughout, the authors express an abolitionist point of view, stating “We hope this book will provide practical information to those interested in furthering death penalty abolition in the United States and throughout the world.”

  • Document type Book
  • Countries list United States
  • Themes list Networks,