chapter
21 Pages

Introduction

ByBharat Malkani

This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book sets out the status of capital punishment and anti-death penalty efforts today, explaining the orthodox view that pragmatic and conservative anti-death penalty discourses are propelling America towards nationwide abolition. It explains the historical and conceptual links between slavery, capital punishment, and their respective abolitionist movements. The book addresses abolitionist efforts in the courtroom. It focuses on abolitionism in the political and public sphere and addresses the debate over the extent to which, if at all, abolitionists should advocate the use of life in prison without the possibility of parole in death's stead. The book explores more practical types of abolitionism, including the supply of drugs needed for executions. It discusses the anti-slavery and anti-racist campaigners often worked side-by-side with anti-death penalty campaigners, given their shared concerns, but that on occasion the different sets of campaigners have inadvertently hindered each other's progress.