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The Death Penalty in America: Unjustified Violence?

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Publication Date: July 2009

Publisher(s): National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership (U.S.)

Author(s): Michael Gottsegen

Series: CLAL Politics and Policy Archive

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Justice (Courts and judicial power)

Keywords: Justice; Public Opinions; Public Policies

Type: Brief

Coverage: United States


The author analyzes the fine line between judicial violence and criminal violence, arguing that judicial violence is seemingly justified as it represents sovereignty of the people, while criminal violence is merely the will of the individual. He argues that while this sacred, authorized violence is seen as a way to maintain social order, basic norms of justice are losing integrity. For example, in the United States, prejudiced juries and underrepresented defendants are leading to a rising number of wrongful convictions.