In Murdering Myths: The Story Behind the Death Penalty, Judith Kay goes beyond the hype and statistics to examine Americans' deep-seated beliefs about crime and punishment. She argues that Americans share a counter-productive idea of justice-that punishment corrects bad behavior, suffering pays for wrong deeds, and victims' desire for revenge is natural and inevitable. Drawing on interviews with both victims and inmates, Kay shows how this belief harms perpetrators, victims, and society and calls for a new narrative that recognizes the humanity in all of us.
Judith W. Kay is associate professor of religion at the University of Puget Sound.
Chapter 2 Introduction Chapter 3 The Story We Tell Chapter 4 The Incoherency (and Immorality) of Punishment Chapter 5 The Rules of the Game Chapter 6 Rectification Through Suffering Chapter 7 The Story's Vices Chapter 8 Habits Begotten by Violence Chapter 9 Making the Three Rs Stick Chapter 10 Of Monsters and Men Chapter 11 The Story's Broken Promise Chapter 12 Living a New Story Chapter 13 Bibliography