"A learned, detailed narrative and analysis of the legislative and judicial history of capital punishment in New England's most populous and prominent state. . . . Rogers' conscientious, thoroughly informed account rewards students of legal, political, social, and cultural history. His is a complicated story with few straight lines, but the book's clear prose and shrewd deployment of case studies and anecdotes enables readers to grasp points of law in their political as well as juridical contexts.—New England Quarterly
""The range and depth of coverage are impressive. . . . The twelve chapters address key aspects of jurisprudence, such as defendant rights, the insanity issue, the right to an attorney, criminal discovery, confession, and the selection of an impartial jury. . . . This is masterful scholarship on an immensely important subject.""—Lawrence Goodheart, author of Mad Yankees
""This book is a perfect model for any future death penalty historian—one can only hope that Rogers's successors will do for states such as Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Ohio what he has done for Massachusetts.""—Hugo A. Bedau, author of The Death Penalty in America"