death penalty

Rakesh Bhandari bhandari at phoenix.Princeton.EDU
Fri Aug 20 10:12:35 PDT 1999

>Amnesty International's latest on race & the death penalty in the U.S.:

Not only is the US about the only advanced captialist democracy that has not abandoned the death penalty (of course there is variation among the American states), the American killing state is increasing the number of people who are 'death eligible' (including now in Nevada those who commit 'hate crimes', to throw a wrench into anti racist opposition) while the S.Ct. has instituted a policy that can only be described as 'deregulating death.' (despite a flirtation with abolition in the US in the 1970s). Does race and racial reaction account for or explain this variation in the use of the death penalty both among countries and within the US over time, the advanced capitalist country with the highest proportion of racialized minorities (itself in part the consequence of a great deal of US colonization in search of precious minerals, agricultural products and raw materials having been 'internal')? What does it mean to invoke race or racial reaction as the explanation itself for variations in the use of the death penalty?

New book out on the death penalty. Austin Sarat, ed. The Killing State. Oxford 1999.

Yours, Rakesh

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