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.