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Killing Times – The Temporal Technology of the Death Penalty - Fordham Scholarship Online
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Killing Times: The Temporal Technology of the Death Penalty

David Wills


Killing Times starts from the deceptively simple observation— made by Jacques Derrida—that the death penalty mechanically interrupts mortal time, preempting our normal experience of not knowing when we will die. The book examines more broadly what constitutes mortal temporality and how the “machinery of death” exploits and perverts time. It first examines Eighth Amendment challenges to the death penalty in the U.S, from the late nineteenth-century introduction of execution by firing squad and the electric chair to current cases involving lethal injection. Although defining the instant of death ... More

Keywords: death penalty, drone, Eighth Amendment, guillotine, mortality, prosthesis, suicide bomber, technology, temporality

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780823283521
Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2020 DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823283521.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

David Wills, author
Brown University