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The Death Penalty:
Despite the increased use of capital punishment in the United States, the American public has little real knowledge of how the death penalty is enforced. Media reports focus primarily on the sensational aspects of the various laws, and the fact that there are 52 distinct legal jurisdictions (the 50 states, the federal government, and the District of Columbia) further fuels the confusion. Written in plain language, the primary focus of this work is on the death penalty phase of criminal prosecution. Part I gives an overview of capital punishment and explores the impact of both common law and the Eighth Amendment on its implementation. In Part II, such issues as the discretion of the prosecutor, death penalty notice requirements, indictments, and the prosecuting of nontriggermen are covered. Court proceedings related to the death penalty are detailed in Part III, while Part IV examines laws related to execution. [via]