NEITHER CRUEL NOR UNUSUAL: The Case for Capital Punishment by Frank G. Carrington

NEITHER CRUEL NOR UNUSUAL: The Case for Capital Punishment

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The curious logic which leads Carrington, a former adviser to the Chicago and Denver police departments, to dub those who opposed judicially sanctioned killing as ""antivictim"" won't bother proponents of the death penalty. Indisputably, their number is currently on the rise (68% vs. 42% in 1966, according to Gallup) and Carrington can get by with directing most of his blasts at the American Civil Liberties Union, the last bastion against the death penalty. The Supreme Court (which Carrington attacked for being soft on crime in The Victims, 1975) has, after all, backed away from its 1972 ruling in Furman v. Georgia, which skirted declaring that capital punishment per se violated the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Carrington is well satisfied with this turn of events; it enables him to by-pass most of the real issues and simply ridicule the ""jellobrained bleeding hearts"" (in the words of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat) who pity the murderer and not his victims. The more serous argument--that capital punishment barbarizes society as a whole--is completely ignored. Instead Carrington recites a grisly list of murders whose perpetrators merely went to jail--there to enjoy three squares a day, color TV, and the hobby shop. It won't change anyone's view, pro or con.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1978
Publisher: Arlington House