Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorDavid H.MorseMS, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media
by Austin Sarat, 324 pp, $29.95, ISBN 0-691-00726-8, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press, 2001.
The recent execution of Timothy McVeigh has brought the death penalty into national focus. Interest centered on the logistical questions of "if," "when," and "how" rather than the ethical justification of the punishment. Considering the magnitude of the crime, McVeigh was the ultimate example for advocates of capital punishment. In When the State Kills, a legal and cultural analysis of capital punishment in the United States, Austin Sarat peels away the emotional aspects of the Murrah Building bombing and other disturbing crimes to focus on the issues that underlie society's endorsement of this extreme penalty.
Capital PunishmentWhen the State Kills: Capital Punishment and the American Tradition. JAMA. 2001;286(12):1513. doi:10.1001/jama.286.12.1513