A Life and Death Decision : A Jury Weighs the Death Penalty
Sundby's book takes the reader beyond abstractions about how capital punishment decisions are made, and provides a rare and consistently fascinating account of how two actual juries reach their decisions. The book is filled with insights about the legal and emotional dynamics of the jury room and the courtroom in death penalty cases. It pulls off a couple of very difficult feats. It treats all the jurors interviewed with respect and understanding, and should be equally informative for those with strong feelings for or against the death penalty and for those who are undecided. In addition, it manages to convey quite a bit of valuable information about the death penalty and the criminal justice system in a way that should be accessible and interesting for those with or without a background in the law. In short, a must-read for anyone who wants a better understanding of the American system of capital punishment, or of jury decision-making in general.