In 1972, the Supreme Court struck down Georgia’s death penalty law. Since Georgia’s law closely resembled those in the 40 other states with capital punishment, most legal experts believed Furman v. Georgia meant the end of executions in America. The victory was highly improbable. The constitutionality of capital punishment had been axiomatic for 200 years, until, in 1962, the largely forgotten Justice Arthur Goldberg, and his clerk, Alan Dershowitz, suggested otherwise in an unusual dissent from a denial of certiorari in a capital case. Goldberg’s opinion spurred an underfunded band of civil rights attorneys to begin a quixotic crusade that produced the stunning 1972 victory and, four years later, a crushing defeat when the Court reversed itself following a brilliant oral argument by Solicitor General Robert Bork. Drawing on interviews with law clerks, litigators, and four years of archival research, A Wild Justice is an extraordinary, behind-the-scenes look at the Supreme Court, the Justices, and the political complexities of the most racially charged and morally vexing issue in America.
Shortly before his wedding, the unnamed hero of this uncommon romance is visited by a man, claiming to be his future self, who ominously admonishes the protagonist that he must not marry the love of his life, Q. The author doubts this stranger, but in time becomes convinced of his authenticity and leaves his fiancée. The resulting void in his life is impossible to fill. One after the other, future selves arrive urging him to marry someone else, divorce, attend law school, leave law school, travel, join a running club, stop running, study the guitar, the cello, Proust, Buddhism, opera, and eliminate gluten from his diet. The only constants in this madcap quest for personal improvement are the author’s love for his New York City home and for his beloved Q. Q turns the classic story of transcendent love on its head, with an ending that will melt even the darkest heart.
A satirical joyride in the tradition of Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams, First Contact introduces us to the hyper-intelligent Rigelians, who admire Woody Allen movies and Bundt cake, and urge the people of Earth to mend their ways to avoid destruction of their planet. But the president of the United States, a God-fearing, science-doubting fitness fanatic, is skeptical of the evidence presented to him and sets in motion a chain of events that will change the lives of his young attaché, an alien scam artist, several raccoons, and a scientist who has predicted the end of the universe. Parrot sketch excluded.
Mortimer Taylor Coleridge is a unique man. With a mind of rare mathematical precision, he is obsessed with imposing order upon the chaos of every day life. A once brilliant student of evolutionary biology at Columbia University, he has turned his back on a promising academic career to devote his life to selling hot dogs at Papaya Queen. There, Mortimer uses his keen intellect to become the quickest and most efficient of hot dog men, devising a numerical-based system to sell hot dogs which maximizes both time and effort. One day while watching TV, Mortimer comes upon VH1, and his life is instantly transformed. While watching Behind the Music: No Doubt, he decides that he and Gwen Stefani are soul mates, destined to be together. When Mortimer discovers that her favorite food is a Papaya Queen hot dog, he dedicates his life to preparing for the day, which he knows will come, when Gwen Stefani will walk into the Papaya Queen where he works, order a frankfurter and fall in love with him. Dreaming of Gwen Stefanitakes our culture’s obsession with celebrity to its logical-or illogical-conclusion.
Capital Punishment: A Balanced Examination challenges readers to re-evaluate every aspect of their beliefs regarding this controversial subject. The book explores the American death penalty as law and social policy and requires readers to consider basic philosophical questions such as: Would you ever kill? Is the legal system capable of distinguishing between murderers who deserve to die and those who don’t? Is revenge a legitimate aim of the criminal justice system? Each chapter begins with a primer on an issue, is followed by data and critical documents (including cases), and concludes with essays offering differing viewpoints by some of the nation’s top scholars. The second edition, published in 2011, includes updated research on deterrence, new data and articles on brutalization and cost, the most recent cases on the death penalty for juveniles and child rape, and a new chapter on methods of execution.
A day-to-day account of the 1997 New York City mayoral race told from the perspective of the research director on Ruth Messinger’s doomed challenge to Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Eyes on City Hall offers a behind-the-scenes look at political campaigns in the television era. It takes us to the real battlegrounds of modern politics: polls, focus groups and television editing studios. We watch first-hand as political consultants, conceive of the ideal candidate and then attempt to fit their client into that ideal, no matter how uncomfortably.