The “New Abolitionism” and the Possibilities of Legislative Action: The New Hampshire Experience

By Sarat Austin / Ohio State Law Journal, on 1 January 2002

Recently, the work of the abolitionist community has shifted from the courts to the legislatures. In this article, Professor Sarat examines the significance of what he calls the “new abolitionism” in the politics of legislation aimed at changing or ending the death penalty. The author describes the new abolitionism in detail and then examines its role in the May 2000 vote of the New Hampshire State Legislature to repeal the death penalty. The author concludes that the focus of the new abolitionism on the practical liabilities of our system of capital punishment makes it possible for legislators to oppose the death penalty whilepresenting themselves as guardians of widely shared values and the integrity and fairness of our legal institutions.

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