Girling, EJ (2016) Sites of crossing and Death in Punishment: The parallel lives, trade-offs and equivalencies of the Death Penalty and Life without Parole in the US. The Howard Journal of Crime and Justice, 55 (3). pp. 345-361. ISSN 2059-1101

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The paper explores continuities and discontinuities between two kinds of death in punishment; of death as punishment and of death as the specified detritus of punishment (LWOP). It traces the parallel lives and equivalencies between life and death in penal policy and practice in the US, and attendant narratives of harshness/mildness, and compromises and covenants with pasts and futures. The discourse of death that has sustained the survival of the death penalty in the US has found a home in LWOP. It argues that spectacles and memorialisations of injustice, error and pain circumscribed in the judicial and popular discourse of death as different provide spaces for reflection on dignity and cruelty, spaces in which the loss of life and liberty can be grieved, a subversive politics of mourning (Butler 2004) for those that punishment had deemed dispensable. As the death penalty is exchanged for LWOP, reform strategies need to re-imagine and re-capture these spaces for grieving and understanding the death work of LWOP in US penal politics is crucial to this endeavour.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Girling, E., 2016. Sites of Crossing and Death in Punishment: The Parallel Lives, Trade-offs and Equivalencies of the Death Penalty and Life without Parole in the US. The Howard Journal of Crime and Justice, 55(3), pp.345–361, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social, Political and Global Studies
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2016 15:37
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2020 13:31

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