In 1976, the US Supreme Court ruled in Gregg v. Georgia
that the death penalty was constitutional if it complied with certain provisions designed to ensure that it was reserved for the 'worst of the worst.' The 1976 decision ushered in the 'modern' period of the US death penalty, resulting in the execution of over 1,400 inmates, with over 8,000 individuals currently sentenced to die. Each chapter of Frank Baumgartner
's, Marty Davidson's, Kaneesha Johnson's, Arvind Krishnamurthy's, and Colin Wilson's Deadly Justice : A Statistical Portrait of the Death Penalty
(Oxford University Press, 2017) addresses a specific factual question and provides statistical evidence about how the modern death penalty has functioned.
Baumgartner is Professor of Political Science, University of North Carolina. Davidson, Johnson, Krishnamurthy, and Wilson were all students at North Carolina during the research for the book.