Dehumanising Capital Offenders through Incarceration: Functionality and Irrevocability
Dr. Mark Pettigrew

Measured in executions, the death penalty in the USA is declining. Yet, under that shadow, death sentences continue to be imposedandoffendersare destined to spend longer in that incarceration than ever before. Even the punctuation of death penalty decline, five legislative death penalty abolitions, has little effect on death row; in threestates abolition was not retroactive and death row incarceration remains. This article argues that the dominant manner of death row incarceration, punitive, retributive incarceration and its dehumanising effect is functional in maintainingstereotypes and thus death penalty support. Moreover,it is the cultural recognition and permanence of the commonly attributed labels and descriptions attached to capital offenders that explains the continuation of death row incarceration in newly abolitionist states.

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