By Timothy Vance Kaufman-Osborn

ISBN-10: 0472088904

ISBN-13: 9780472088904

From Noose to Needle contributes a brand new standpoint at the debatable subject of capital punishment via asking how the behavior of nation killing unearths broader contradictions within the modern liberal country, specifically, yet no longer solely, within the usa. relocating past extra popular criminal and sociological methods to this subject, Timothy V. Kaufman-Osborn asks a number of questions. Why do executions not take the shape of public spectacles? Why are yes equipment of execution thought of barbaric? Why needs to the liberal nation strictly segregate the imposition of a demise sentence, no matter if through pass judgement on or jury, from its genuine infliction, even if by way of a country authentic or a normal citizen? Why are girls so from time to time sentenced to demise and done? How does the kingdom search to conceal the agony inflicted through capital punishment via its endorsement of a bio-medical belief of soreness? How does the nearly-universal shift to deadly injection pose difficulties for the past due liberal kingdom via complicated its punitive and welfare obligations? Drawing on a variety of theoretical resources, together with John Locke, Max Weber, Nicos Poulantzas, Friedrich Nietzsche, J. L. Austin, Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, Pierre Bourdieu, Elaine Scarry, and others, Kaufman-Osborn grounds his appropriation of those authors in analyses of particular contemporary executions, together with that of Wesley Allan Dodd and Charles Campbell in Washington, Karla Faye Tucker in Texas, and Allen Lee Davis in Florida. From Noose to Needle should be of curiosity to scholars of legislations, political idea, and sociology in addition to extra basic readers drawn to the problematical factor of capital punishment. Timothy V. Kaufman-Osborn is Baker Ferguson Professor of Politics and management, Whitman university.

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Additional info for From Noose to Needle: Capital Punishment and the Late Liberal State (Law, Meaning, and Violence)

Example text

When Westley Allan Dodd stands before Judge Robert Harris on July 26, 1990, prior to the formal act of sentencing, technically speaking, he is guilty but not yet condemned. After that act, he is both; and, in that sense, much like a promise that creates an obligation that had no existence prior to its utterance, the death sentence is a performative whose enunciation does what it says and, in so doing, creates its own referent. How are we to explain the capacity of this utterance to produce such a transformation?

Their net effect is given apt expression by a convict on death row in Alabama: “The living dead is what it adds up to. I mean, what does a maggot do? A maggot eats and defecates. That’s all we do: eat and defecate. ” No doubt, the walls and ceiling of his cell in the Intensive Management Unit, where he was held from the time of his conviction until just before his execution, are the means of his constraint; and yet they are also the conditions of his humanization. Sheltering his body, but also his writing platform, his pen, his bunk, and the Bible he began to read shortly before his death, the work done by these cinder blocks enabled Dodd to be something other than a creature whose being was exhausted by the incessant imperatives of embodiment.

Rather, and much more prosaically, my argument is concerned with alterations in the lived contexts within which the death-sentenced body is concretely situated and with how such alterations remove the condemned from the world by removing the world from the condemned (and vice versa). Their net effect is given apt expression by a convict on death row in Alabama: “The living dead is what it adds up to. I mean, what does a maggot do? A maggot eats and defecates. That’s all we do: eat and defecate.

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From Noose to Needle: Capital Punishment and the Late Liberal State (Law, Meaning, and Violence) by Timothy Vance Kaufman-Osborn


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