Benjamin Fleury-Steiner draws on real-life accounts of white and black jurors in capital punishment trials to discuss the effect of race on the sentencing process. He finds that race is invariably a factor in sentencing, with jurors relying on narratives that deny the often marginalized defendants their individuality and complexity, while reinforcing the jurors' own identities as superior, moral, and law-abiding citizens. It is a system that punishes in the name of dominance. This biased story of "us versus them" continues to infuse political rhetoric on crime and punishment in the U.S. even today.
Jurors' Stories of Death concludes with an original argument for the abolition of the death penalty: If America values multiculturalism and cultural diversity, it must do away with institutions such as state-sanctioned capital punishment in order to begin to free itself from the racism, classicism, sexism, an homophobia that so insidiously plague social relations today.
About the Author:
Benjamin Fleury-Steiner is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware.
Table of Contents
|Chapter 2||Race Politics, Punishment, and the Bureaucracy of Death||11|
|Chapter 3||Story Worlds of Death||29|
|Chapter 5||Voices of Resistance||66|
|Chapter 6||Representing Death||85|
|Chapter 7||Handling Resisters||103|
|Chapter 8||Conclusion: Pawns of the State||129|
|Appendix A||A Politics of the Insiders||137|
|Appendix B||A Closer Look at African American Capital Jurors||142|
|Appendix C||The Jurors||162|