As most jurisdictions move away from the death penalty, some remain strongly committed to it, while others hold on to it but use it sparingly. This volume seeks to understand why, by examining the death penalty’s relationship to state governance in the past and present. It also examines how international, transnational and national forces intersect in order to understand the possibilities of future death penalty abolition. The chapters cover the USA - the only western democracy that still uses the death penalty - and Asia - the site of some 90 per cent of all executions. Also included are discussions of the death penalty in Islam and its practice in selected Muslim majority countries. There is also a comparative chapter departing from the response to the mass killings in Norway in 2011. Leading experts in law, criminology and human rights combine theory and empirical research to further our understanding of the relationships between ways of governance, the role of leadership and the death penalty practices. This book questions whether the death penalty in and of itself is a hazard to a sustainable development of criminal justice. It is an invaluable resource for all those researching and campaigning for the global abolition of capital punishment.
Dr Lill Scherdin is Senior Researcher at the Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law, University of Oslo, Norway. Her research interests encompass: the state and governance through punishment, comparative studies of crime and control, human rights and the death penalty, Holocaust and genocide studies, and processes of exclusion and criminalization. She has also focused on caste - the position of the Burakumin in Japanese society as well as blacks in the American South. She was granted the Mombusho (Japanese State Scholarship), as well as the Fulbright scholarship (Sam Houston University, Crime and Justice Center, Huntsville, Texas). She has been a guest researcher at Chuo University, Graduate School of Law in Hachioji (Tokyo) and at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was an expert advisor for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to five annual Human Rights Dialogues between Norway and Vietnam. She has organized a series of international conferences and symposiums on punishment and death penalty. She sat on the planning committee for the World Congress Against Death Penalty in Madrid, 2013. Dr Scherdin is currently involved in research on the death penalty, human rights and the moral justifications for punishment, and in the University of Oslo’s initiative: Universities Against Death Penalty.
’This book offers a fascinating comparative exploration of the practice of the death penalty within America and in a range of other countries, along with important discussions of whether the death penalty can be part of a "sustainable" system of criminal justice, and of reasons to hope for its eventual abolition.’ R.A. Duff, University of Stirling, UK ’This book begins with an ambitious analysis of the death penalty as a hindrance to a sustainable criminal justice system in a sustainable society. The subsequent chapters are written by some of the greatest thinkers and researchers to have published recently on the subject. This monumental book is essential reading for any discussion of the death penalty.’ Setsuo Miyazawa, UC Hastings College of the Law, USA and Aoyama Gakuin University, Japan '...an important contribution to the international debate concerning the abolition or retention of the death penalty as an instrument of criminal and political justice.' Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books