In video, Bessler discusses death penalty and the Constitution

Professor John Bessler took part in the National Constitution Center‘s Bill of Rights Day Book Festival on Dec. 15, the 225th anniversary of the Bill of Rights.

Bessler participated in a videotaped segment titled “The Death Penalty and the Constitution.” Watch the video here.

Bessler, the author of several books on the death penalty, is also the editor of Against the Death Penalty (Brookings Institution Press, 2016), which contains U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s dissent in Glossip v. Gross, a 2015 decision that found death-row prisoners in Oklahoma had failed to prove the use of a sedative in a three-drug lethal injection cocktail violated the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. The prisoners’ suit alleged the sedative, midazolam, does not block pain from the two other drugs, which cause paralysis and cardiac arrest.

The book also discusses the history of the death penalty in the United States, the background of the Eighth Amendment’s cruel and unusual punishment clause, and the Supreme Court’s treatment of capital punishment.

Learn more about Professor Bessler.

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