LAW & CRIME

The Penalty Is Death: State Power, Law, and Justice

Scribe 2 ed. May 2023. 352p. ed. by Barry Jones. ISBN 9781957363387. pap. $22. LAW
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After 54 years, Jones (What Is To Be Done) has edited the second edition of his work. Jones, Australia’s longest-serving minister of science, has a prominent background in Australian politics. Thus, the heart of the book covers Australian capital punishment. Originally published in 1968, the book is divided into four parts, each dealing with an aspect of capital punishment: the cons, pros, executions, and victims. Jones updated the introduction, which reads like a magazine article, plus the contributors’ biographies and three final notes. He also added Appendix E, which lists the countries that have recently abolished capital punishment. There are nearly 30 articles, a few penned by noted individuals that readers will recognize: Charles Dickens, J. Edgar Hoover, Clarence Darrow, and Albert Camus. The problem with this book is that most of the articles were written in the 1950s and 1960s, and it uses data from that time. There are more recent writings dealing with this topic that could have been included.
VERDICT Without current data and articles, this book is a strictly optional purchase.
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