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It is the contention of the authors that capital punishment serves as neither a proper deterrent from crime nor as a fitting retribution on the part of the offender, nor as a reformative influence on the accused. In support of their argument, they present, for analysis, six criminal cases of different circumstances and background. In three of these cases the death penalty was rendered. In the fourth, life imprisonment, and in two, successful rehabilitation was the affect of humane and progressive treatment towards the offenders. Although the authors maintain that there is doubt as to the actual guilt of the convicted, they hold that their intention is not to demonstrate that ""innocent people have been unjustly convicted and sentenced to death, but rather, that ""all punishment by killing is wrong"" and that ""the only rational approach to the problem of the clinical or curative approach"". Three of the cases selected were surrounded by public hysteria and one of these, the Ethel and Julius Rosenberg trial was particularly highlighted at the time. The authors are unequivocal about their stand but dispassionate in their approach to such an inflammable topic as public justice. This book is a service which will not be well received on all fronts.

Pub Date: Oct. 17th, 1957
Publisher: Simon and Schuster