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Death and Other PenaltiesPhilosophy in a Time of Mass Incarceration$
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Geoffrey Adelsberg, Lisa Guenther, and Scott Zeman

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823265299

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823265299.001.0001

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Death and Other Penalties

(p.1) Introduction
Death and Other Penalties

Geoffrey Adelsberg

Lisa Guenther

Scott Zeman

Fordham University Press

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the book's main themes. This book brings together a diverse group of scholars to offer their analysis of issues raised by the U.S. prison system. These scholars write from perspectives including deconstruction, psychoanalysis, phenomenology, and critical theory, as well as sociopolitical discourses such as critical race theory, feminism, queer theory, and disability studies. They engage with issues such as the hyperincarceration of people of color, the incomplete abolition of slavery, the exploitation of prisoners as workers and as “raw material” for the prison industrial complex, the intensive confinement of prisoners in supermax units, and the complexities of capital punishment in an age of abolition. They reveal the many ways in which prisons have failed to protect people or to address the harm of violent crime, functioning instead to manage and control populations that have been marginalized by poverty, racism, sexism, heterosexism, able-ism, and other forms of oppression. Finally, and most importantly, they develop strategies for intellectual and political resistance to the apparent inevitability of incarceration and state execution as responses to crime and social difference.

Keywords:   U.S. prison system, hyperincarceration, prisoners, prison industrial complex, capital punishment, incarceration

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