1st Edition

Geometrical Justice The Death Penalty in America

By Scott Phillips, Mark Cooney Copyright 2022
    172 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    172 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Legal decisions continue to mystify: why was this person sentenced to 20 years in prison, but that person to just 10 years for the same crime? Why did one person sue for civil damages, but another let the matter drop? Legal rules are supposed to answer these questions, but their answers are radically incomplete. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a theory that predicted and explained legal decisions?

    Drawing on Donald Black’s theoretical ideas, Geometrical Justice: The Death Penalty in America addresses these issues, focusing specifi cally on who is sentenced to death and executed in the United States. The book explains why some murders are more serious than others and how the social characteristics of defendants, victims, and jurors aff ect case outcomes. Building on the most rigorous data in the field, the authors reveal wide discrepancies in capital punishment – why one person lives, but another person dies.

    Geometrical Justice will be of interest to those engaged in criminal justice, criminology, and socio- legal studies, as well as students taking courses on sentencing, corrections, and capital punishment.

    Prologue  Chapter 1: The Geometrical Theory of Law  Chapter 2: Social Space  Chapter 3: Social Time  Chapter 4: Space and Time: Third Parties  Chapter 5: The Death Penalty and Beyond


    Scott Phillips is a professor in the department of sociology and criminology, University of Denver, USA.

    Mark Cooney is a professor of sociology at the University of Georgia, USA.