Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Death Penalty in the United States: A Complete Guide to Federal and State Laws, Second Edition by Louis J. Palmer Jr.

0786476605.01._SX140_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_This was a book I received as an Early Reviewer on LibraryThing.  I did not remember checking the box to say say I would read it, yet there it was in my mailbox.  I’m not going to lie, it is a very dry book, I am 99% sure it is aimed at being a text book.  I am not a legalese and if I hadn’t received this book the way I had I would not have read it.  It was very dry and hard for me to get through, and sadly I didn’t I made it to chapter 8 and just gave up.  I started just reading, but that didn’t work, I got lost and sadly had to start the book a second time.  On the second read I took detailed notes and underlined like a mad woman,  and it still didn’t work, although I did retain the information that I was reading.  Although I could not read this book as a lunch read or during other times that I didn’t have a chunk of time to devote to it.  There was just too much potential for loss of information if I didn’t read a whole chapter at a time.

In the intro, the author states that this book “aims to provide an objective review of how capital punishment works in the United States.”  He further states that “the primary focus of the book is upon issues that are resolved after a defendant has been convicted of a capital crime.”  Being the general populace I feel that he achieved his goal.  Again, not saying I would recommend this book to my book club, but it was an informative read.   The book is split into 6 parts. 

Part I lays out important foundation information. (5 chapters)  lots of law and history,  I made it through though.  Some of it was good, some of it was bad.  Some of the history was interesting, I think that is the only reason I kept reading.  It was just sooo dry and text bookish.

Part II examines specific issues involving the governmental office responsible for enforcing death penalty statutes – the office of the prosecutor. (5 chapters)  This is the section that lost me, it was all law and nothing of interest for me, and as much as I hate to say it, I just gave up.  My reading time is too precious to continue with something I am having this much trouble getting through.

Part III is an examination of substantive issues involving primarily the sentencing phase of death penalty prosecutions. (6 chapters)

Part IV is concerned with post-conviction remedies that a capital felon will try to obtain after being convicted. (4 chapters)

Part V outlines the laws involving execution of the death penalty. (4 chapters)

Part VI provides some discussion of diverse death penalty issues. (5 chapters)

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