The Department of Political Science presents the annual Dean Alfange Jr Lecture in American Constitutionalism. This year's speaker is David W. Garland, Arthur T. Vanderbilt Professor of Law and Professor of Sociology, New York University School of Law.
The U.S. death penalty is a peculiar institution, and a uniquely American one. Despite its comprehensive abolition elsewhere in the Western world, capital punishment continues in dozens of American states– a fact that is frequently discussed but rarely understood. The same puzzlement surrounds the peculiar form that American capital punishment now takes, with its uneven application, its seemingly endless delays, and the uncertainty of its ever being carried out in individual cases, none of which seem conducive to effective crime control or criminal justice.