Courting Death: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment


Product Details

Belknap Press
Publish Date
6.4 X 9.4 X 1.2 inches | 1.5 pounds

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About the Author

Carol S. Steiker is Henry J. Friendly Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.
Jordan M. Steiker is Judge Robert M. Parker Endowed Chair in Law at the University of Texas School of Law.


This is the most important book about the death penalty for a generation and, likely, ever. Anyone who cares about the state of justice in America should read this book.--Lincoln Caplan, journalist and Visiting Lecturer in Law, Yale Law School
Courting Death is a brilliant and insightful book with a powerful thesis, namely that the death penalty in the United States has been unwittingly regulated to death. It is the most forceful and significant intervention I have read on the question of capital punishment to date, a remarkable contribution to our legal, historical, and political debates.--Bernard E. Harcourt, author of Exposed: Desire and Disobedience in the Digital Age
Courting Death charts precisely the past and present of what has sadly become a uniquely American dilemma and, most importantly, sets out the doctrinal road map that will likely guide Supreme Court Justices in the future. Written by the most respected capital punishment scholars of the day, it is essential reading.--Michael Meltsner, author of Cruel and Unusual: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment
[The Steikers] provide a clear and comprehensive look at the 40-year modern history of capital punishment in the United States since its reinstatement in 1976...Courting Death provides an excellent survey of the history of capital punishment and the prospects of abolition...The Steikers explain technical legal issues with such clarity that their book is highly accessible to lawyer and layperson alike.--Stephen Rohde "Los Angeles Review of Books" (10/15/2016 12:00:00 AM)
Carol and Jordan Steiker...are the leading contemporary scholars of the death penalty. In Courting Death: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment they have brilliantly defined--in language accessible to the general reader--the massive dysfunction of the current system and the course that a future Supreme Court could take to do away with it.--Michael Meltsner "Huffington Post" (10/6/2016 12:00:00 AM)
The Steikers deliver an extraordinarily well-documented, forceful and ferocious assault on state and federal administration of capital punishment since then. Courting Death is, almost certainly, the best book on this subject.--Glenn C. Altschuler "Huffington Post" (12/20/2016 12:00:00 AM)
Carol S. Steiker and Jordan M. Steiker (sister and brother) have written a revealing book about the history of the death penalty in the U.S. and, in particular, the continued difficulties the Supreme Court has had in attempting to regulate capital punishment so that it conforms to constitutional standards...[An] excellent book.--Jed S. Rakoff "New York Review of Books" (6/8/2017 12:00:00 AM)