The Death Penalty in the United States: A Crisis of Conscience

By Richard L. Wiener / Craig Haney / Psychology, Public Policy and Law, on 1 January 2004

The articles in this issue discuss many appellate court decisions that turned on due process problems in the guilt and penalty phases of capital murder trials and the troubling role of race in capital prosecutions. Governor Ryan of Illinois cited many of these issues when he declared a moratorium on the death penalty and appointed a blue-ribbon panel to study the prosecution of capital murder in 2000. Governor Ryan commuted the sentences of all Illinois death row inmates in January 2003, in part, because the legislature was unable to address these issues that again appeared in the panel’s report. These issues raise serious questions about the reliability of the capital murder system and recommend a continued public debate about its fairness.

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