An alternative history of Jeffrey Dahmer's trial shows what the death penalty can do to a homicide case under extreme circumstances. Our system of capital punishment is slow, passionless, impersonal, unreliable, rarely exercised, and costly. Still, it's not likely to change much for the death penalty we have is the death penalty we want.
Excerpted with permission from an article first published in Studies in Law, Politics and Society, Vol. 13, pp.71-104 (1993), by permission of the publisher, JAI Press Inc.
Samuel R. Gross,
The Romance of Revenge,
Law Quadrangle (formerly Law Quad Notes)
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/lqnotes/vol38/iss1/8