University of Baltimore School of Law – 25th Annual UB Public Interest Auction & Gala
Auction Ends: Feb 21, 2019 11:59 PM EST


Cruel & Unusual: The American Death Penalty and the Founders Eighth Amendment

Item Number
Estimated Value
$45 USD
$40 USD to Live Event Bidder

Live Event Item

This is a Live Event Only item.

Item Description

The conventional wisdom is that the founders were avid death penalty supporters. In this fascinating and insightful examination of America?s Eighth Amendment, law professor John D. Bessler explodes this myth and shows the founders? conflicting and ambivalent views on capital punishment. Cruel and Unusual takes the reader back in time to show how the indiscriminate use of executions gave way to a more enlightened approach?one that has been evolving ever since. While shedding important new light on the U.S. Constitution?s ?cruel and unusual punishments? clause, Bessler explores the influence of Cesare Beccaria?s essay, On Crimes and Punishments, on the Founders? views, and the transformative properties of the Fourteenth Amendment, which made the Bill of Rights applicable to the states. After critiquing the U.S. Supreme Court?s existing case law, this essential volume argues that America?s death penalty?a vestige of a bygone era in which ear cropping and other gruesome corporal punishments were thought acceptable?should be declared unconstitutional.


This is a live event, silent auction item.


Item Special Note

All items must be claimed and paid for by winner by 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019. If winner is unable to pay for the item by that deadline, the item will be awarded to the next highest bidder.

Physical items like this one must be picked up from the law school by Monday, May 6, 2019 or mailed at the expense of the winner. Items not picked up are automatically donated to next year's auction.