The Federal Death Penalty

Authored by: Stephanie Mizrahi

Routledge Handbook on Capital Punishment

Print publication date:  December  2017
Online publication date:  December  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138651579
eBook ISBN: 9781315624723
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter covers the prosecution of capital cases by the federal government. It covers the application of the death penalty by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) to cases involving violations of certain federal criminal laws. As such, it does not cover the myriad of U.S. Supreme Court cases dealing with constitutional issues regarding the death penalty that apply to both state and federal capital prosecutions, although there is considerable overlap. Instead, after a brief overview of the history of the federal death penalty, this entry will look at the structure and institutions governing the use of the federal death penalty, the key statutes establishing the modern-day federal death penalty regime, how the federal government decides to seek the death penalty and for what cases, and some of the critiques of current federal death penalty law and policy.

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