Capital punishment and American culture

By David Garland / Punishment & Society 7, 347-376, on 1 January 2005

This is an essay about capital punishment and American culture. Its point of departure is the recent publication of several books and articles suggesting that the USA’s retention of the death penalty is an expansion of an underlying cultural tradition that creats an elective affinity between American society and the execution of criminal offenders. The implicit – and sometimes explicit claim – of this new literature is that today’s capital punishment system is an insurance of ‘American exceptionalism’, an expression of a deep and abiding condition that has shaped the American nation from its formative years to the present.

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