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Deconstructing the Death PenaltyDerrida's Seminars and the New Abolitionism$
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Kelly Oliver and Stephanie Straub

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823280100

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823280100.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

The Heart of the Other?

The Heart of the Other?

(p.226) Chapter 12 The Heart of the Other?
Deconstructing the Death Penalty

Sarah Tyson

Fordham University Press

In the United States, life without parole (LWOP) has become the leading alternative to the death penalty. However, we have compelling reason to be suspicious what passes for the abolition of the death penalty. If, with the death penalty, we have the calculation of the precise moment a life will end, with LWOP we have a different sort of calculation: however long the life of the accused, that will be length of punishment appropriate to this crime. The only possible life after a sentence of LWOP would be the afterlife of civil and social death. This chapter moves between Derrida’s seminar on the death penalty, his interview “Death Penalties,” and the written reflections of people serving LWOP sentences, particularly Spoon Jackson, and people condemned to die to interrogate the leading “alternative” to the death penalty and to continue the work of thinking deconstructive abolitionism.

Keywords:   Abolitionism, Capital Punishment, Critical Race Theory, Death Penalty, Deconstruction, Jacques Derrida, Life without Parole, Mass Incarceration

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