Source: (2013) Tennessee Law Review. 80:411-447.

This Comment briefly addresses the lingering problems plaguing the death penalty in the United States and the need to reform the broken system of capital punishment. Based on the Marshall Hypothesis, it offers a potential approach to reform by improving the general discussion of the death penalty and by incorporating individual perceptions of the death penalty. Part II examines the death penalty-both the history and the current state of capital punishment in the United States-and addresses why the current operation of the death penalty does not meet its intended goals. Part W.A proposes a method to achieve reform of the death penalty system. In light of those proposals, Part W.B offers accounts of wardens, spiritual advisers, and lawyers who have spent time in their professional capacities working with death row inmates. It also offers accounts of family members of victims whose offenders have faced possible executions. These accounts demonstrate how individual perceptions of the capital punishment system can be used to reform the death penalty. Part C proffers alternatives [including restorative justice] to the death penalty. Finally, Part IV offers a conclusion and parting commentary. (excerpt)