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10 Crim. Just. Pol'y Rev. 3 (1999)

handle is hein.journals/cjpr10 and id is 1 raw text is: 


CJPR,   Vol. 10 No. 1/99, pp. 3-5
@IUP



Editorial   Introduction:

Charles S. Lanier
School of Criminal Justice
University at Albany

   As 1998 drew  to a close, the state of South Carolina executed Andy
Smith (December  18) by lethal injection - the number one choice of exe-
cutioners in the United States today (United States Department of Justice,
1998) -  thus making him the 500th person since 1977 to be executed in
this country.' On February 3, 1998, the state of Texas pried open the door
to executing 'vomen when  it introduced a lethal dose of drugs into the
veins of Karla Faye Tucker - the second woman in America to be exe-
cuted in the post-Furman era.' The past year also saw the first National
Conference on Wrongful  Convictions and the Death Penalty - a meeting
that featured 30 of the 75 persons exonerated and released from death row
since 1972.' Present and former state and federal judges, justices, attor-
ney generals, and prosecutors were among the new voices of opposition
to the death penalty, which further distinguished 1998 as a year to
remember  in the national discourse on capital punishment (Death Penalty
Information Center, 1998).
   Thus, it seems not only timely but appropriate that this special issue of
Criminal Justice Policy Review is devoted to capital punishment. The
idea for a special issue on the death penalty originated with CJPR Editor
Nanci Koser Wilson. After hearing several of the presentations given dur-
ing  the session on  capital punishment  at the  1998  Northeastern
Association of Criminal Justice Sciences (NEACJS)   annual meeting
(held at the Roger Williams School of Law  in Bristol, Rhode Island),
Nanci inquired whether I would be interested in being a guest editor for
a special issue of the CJPR. After a brief discussion among participants,
this special issue on the death penalty began to take shape.
   For the most part, the articles that follow are works that were prepared
for the 1998 NEACJS   annual meeting. The collection begins with my
overview of the status of capital punishment in the Northeastern United
States, including what states authorize the death penalty, the number,
race, and ethnicity of prisoners convicted and sentenced to die, and the

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