13 Ways of Looking at the Death Penalty.pdf
Nation states and communities throughout the world have reached certain decisions about capital punishment: It is the destruction of human life. It is ineffective as a deterrent for crime. It is an instrument the state uses to contain or eliminate its political adversaries. It is a tool of “justice” that disproportionality affects religious, social, and racial minorities. It is a sanction that cannot be fixed if unjustly applied.
Yet the United States—along with countries notorious for human rights abuse—remains an advocate for the death penalty. In these thirteen pieces, Mario Marazziti exposes the profound inhumanity and irrationality of the death penalty in this country, and urges us to join virtually every other industrialized democracy in rendering capital punishment an abandoned practice belonging to a crueler time in human history. A polemical book, yes, yet one that brings together a wide range of stories to compel the heart as well the mind.
MARIO MARAZZITI co-founded the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty in 2002. He is the longtime spokesperson for the Community of Sant’Egidio, a Rome-based progressive Catholic NGO. In 2012 he was elected to the lower house of parliament in Italy, where he pursues a broad human-rights portfolio. He lives in Rome.
PAUL ELIE is an American writer and editor, author of The Life You Save May Be Your Own: An American Pilgrimage which won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction in 2004. His most recent book is Reinventing Bach. He lives in New York.