Eligible For Execution
The Story of the Daryl Atkins Case
By (author) Thomas G. Walker
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Eligible For Execution by Thomas G. Walker
Book DescriptionThis riveting and enlightening narrative unfolds on the night of August 16, 1996, with the brutal and senseless murder of Eric Nesbitt, a young man stationed at Langley Air Force Base, at the hands of 18-year-old Daryl Atkins. Over the course of more than a decade, Atkins' case has bounced between the lowest and the highest levels of the judicial system. Found guilty and then sentenced to death in 1998 for Nesbitt's murder, the Atkins case was then taken up in 2002 by the U.S. Supreme Court. The issue before the justices: given Daryl Atkins's mental retardation, would his execution constitute cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of the Eighth Amendment? A 6-3 vote said yes. Daryl Atkins' situation was far from being resolved though. Prosecutors claimed that Atkins failed to meet the statutory definition of mental retardation and reinstituted procedures to carry out his death sentence. Back in circuit court, the jury returned its verdict: Daryl Atkins was not retarded. Atkins' attorneys promptly filed a notice of appeal, and the case continues today.Drawing on interviews with key participants; direct observation of the hearings; and, close examination of court documents, transcripts, and press accounts, Thomas G. Walker provides readers with a rare view of the entire judicial process. Never losing sight of the stakes in a death penalty case, he explains each step in Atkins' legal journey from the interactions of local law enforcement, to the decision-making process of the state prosecutor, to the Supreme Court's ruling, and beyond. Walker sheds light on how legal institutions and procedures work in real life and how they are all interrelated to help students better understand constitutional issues, the courts, and the criminal justice system. Throughout, Walker also addresses how disability, race, and other key demographic and social issues affect the case and society's views on the death penalty.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780872894181
(229mm x 152mm x 15mm)
Imprint: CQ Staff Directories,US
Publisher: SAGE Publications Inc
Publish Date: 15-Jul-2008
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Thomas G. Walker
Constitutional Law for a Changing America, Paperback (April 2016)
This book draws on political science as well as legal studies to analyze and excerpt cases. With meticulous revising and updating throughout, Epstein and Walker streamline material while accounting for recent landmark cases and new scholarship.
Supreme Court Compendium, Hardback (October 2006)» View all books by Thomas G. Walker
Presents historical and statistical information on every important aspect of the US Supreme Court, including its history, development as an institution, the justices' backgrounds, nominations, and confirmations, and the Court's relationship with the public and other governmental and judicial bodies.
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Author Biography - Thomas G. Walker
Thomas G. Walker is the Goodrich C. White Professor of Political Science at Emory University, where he teaches courses in constitutional law and the judicial process. He is the coauthor of A Court Divided (1988), with Deborah Barrow, which won the V. O. Key, Jr. Award for the best book on southern politics, and the Constitutional Law for a Changing America series, with Lee Epstein. He is also author of Eligible for Execution: The Story of the Daryl Atkins Case (2009).
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