Evolving Standards Of Decency: Advancing The Nature And Logic Of Capital Mitigation (PDF)

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Several years ago, I began work on a book about the system of capital punishment in the United States, the thesis of which was that the process of death sentencing required ordinary people (as citizens, voters and, especially, as jurors) to do an extraordinary thing—participate in authorizing the killing of another person. For this reason, I argued, the system of death sentencing depended on an elaborate scaffolding of myth and misinformation designed to blur that core truth, preventing the people who participated in the process from fully understanding exactly what they were being asked to do.

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