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Why does the US still have DP?. Existing theories… Socio-cultural values? Vigilante tradition No history of rigid class distinction in punishment No obvious sense of outer limits/no history of exceptions for status Limited welfare state Liberalism/individualism? Racism?.

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why does the us still have dp
Why does the US still have DP?

Existing theories…

  • Socio-cultural values?
    • Vigilante tradition
    • No history of rigid class distinction in punishment
      • No obvious sense of outer limits/no history of exceptions for status
    • Limited welfare state
  • Liberalism/individualism?
  • Racism?
garland dp in the us
Garland – DP in the US:
  • US on abolition trajectory for much of 19th and 20th centuries
  • 1976 – Furman v. GA struck down state death penalty statutes as violations of due process (not violations of cruel and unusual punishment)
  • US public no more supportive of DP than other countries; form of executions much like other countries pre-abolition
  • What needs explaining is last 30 years
    • Political institutions: institutional structures disrupt reform and resistance to DP
u s institutional exceptionalism high fragmentation and many veto points
U.S. institutional exceptionalism: high fragmentation and many veto points
  • Lack of clear mechanism for major social policy
    • Congress has enumerated powers that are often contested
  • Many veto points for powerful elites and ideological extremists
    • South, other regions (lower mid-west)
    • Federalism – multiple, simultaneous, overlapping
    • Senate
    • Supreme Court
slide5

Political structures/mechanisms for nation-wide abolition of DP do not exist in US (outside Supreme Court)

    • Absence of strong parties
    • Existence of populist political mechanisms (referenda)
    • Election of judges and prosecutors
  • Vigilante values as a function of limited capacity for state to control violence? (Roth?)
what about race
What about race…?
  • Where is race in Garland’s account of the persistence of the death penalty?
  • Garland privileges institutions but Unever and Cullen seem to suggest race is central to understanding DP in US. Why?
institutional features and their effects
Institutional features and their effects:
  • Parliamentary v. presidential
    • Presidential systems (separation of powers) may stalemate.
    • Parliamentary systems avoid stalemate (more effective)
  • Two-party v. multi-party (SMD v. PR)
    • PR/multi-party promotes broad representation, consensus
    • SMD/two-party promotes one-party rule, majoritarianism
  • Judicial v. parliamentary supremacy
    • Judicial supremacy can (maybe) mitigate ‘heat of the moment’ decision-making by legislative bodies
    • Parliamentary supremacy ensures that political ‘losers’ don’t use courts to overturn decisions that benefit the majority
how institutional rules matter arrow s impossibility theorem paradox
How institutional rules matter: Arrow’s impossibility theorem (paradox)

3 candidates, A B and C. Voter preferences are as follows:

A > B B > C C > A

Merkel>Cameron Cameron>HollandeHollande>Merkel

First round: A v. B = A (Merkel)

Second round: A v. C = C is winner (Hollande)

First round: B v. C = B (Cameron)

Second round: B v. A = A is winner (Merkel)

slide10

Do institutional designs matter for rates of crime and punishment?

  • How might institutional structures (party systems, parliamentary/presidential, federalism and so on) affect rates of imprisonment in a country?
  • Which arrangements are more ‘democratic?’
slide13

Liberal market economies: US and UK

  • Corporatist, conservative market economies: Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium
  • Social democracies: Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland