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This revised and updated Second Edition is an innovative, balanced, and comprehensive overview of capital punishment. It offers an unbiased examination of the death penalty, supported by statistics and Supreme Court cases, and followed by pro and con discussions. Designed for the undergraduate and graduate level courses on the death penalty and capital punishment, and even ethics and law, this text challenges students to evaluate their beliefs and assumptions on each of the various isssues surrouding this controversial subject. Each chapter begins with a primer of the issue to be discussed, followed by the data and critical documents necessary to make an educated assessment, and concludes with essays that offer differing viewpoints by some of the best minds in the country.