May 3, 2021

Let the Lord Sort Them: Capital Punishment in America with Maurice Chammah

espite the push for federal executions in the last days of the Trump regime, there is huge momentum for the elimination of the Death Penalty in America. Maurice Chammah joins the podcast this week to discuss the state of capital punishment, what it means for America, and his new book on the subject Let the Lord Sort Them: The Rise and Fall of the Death Penalty.


Praise For Let The Lord Sort Them: The Rise And Fall Of The Death Penalty…


“A searing history of the rise and fall of capital punishment . . . Let the Lord Sort Them urges readers to reckon with the ugliest aspects of Texas history, and with how the political debate over the death penalty has elided the long-lasting trauma that executions inflict on everyone involved.”—Texas Monthly


“It’s a book pitched straight into the gulf between universal theory and individual experience.”—Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic


“Maurice Chammah has given us an indispensable history of how the debate over capital punishment has taken shape in our courts. And by centering the book deep in the heart of Texas, ‘the epicenter of the death penalty,’ he lays bare the human experience of litigating these heartrending cases through remarkably intimate, fair-minded, and trustworthy reporting on the people arguing over the fate of human life.”—Robert Kolker, New York Times bestselling author of Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family


“An extraordinarily hopeful glimpse of a future in which we are finally beginning to imagine a very different version of justice—one in which the immediate and generational fallout is not so devastating.”—Heather Ann Thompson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy



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Sources for audio clips

Cruel and Unusual? When can states execute people who are mentally ill? - LawShelf
The Lame-Duck Executioner: Trump Prepares to Execute Five Prisoners in Closing Days of Presidency - Democracy Now!
Virginia set to become first Southern state to abolish the death penalty - Fox 46 Charlotte
The Death Penalty in the USA | Nick McKeown | TEDxLosGatosHighSchool
Politicans and Death Penalty
Mitt Romney thinks the Death Penalty deters crime (1994) - CSPAN-2
Christianity and Death Penalty
Vatican now opposes death penalty in all cases - Reuters
Biden and Death Penalty
Federal executions could be coming to an end as Biden/Harris administration is set to move in - WTHI-TV
Mental Illness and Death Penalty
James Holmes defense attorney: You cannot execute a seriously mentally ill man - Denver 7
Race and Death Penalty
Race and the Death Penalty - Odyssey Impact
Bryan Stevenson on Why We Need to Abolish the Death Penalty | Op-Ed | NowThis

Show Credits

Host: Alyssa Milano
Executive Producer: Alyssa Milano
Associate Producer: Ben Jackson
Editing and Sound Production: Natasha Jacobs
Music by: Josh Cooke & Eleisha Eagle