The death penalty landscape has changed considerably since the first edition of this book was published in 1998. For example, five states that had the death penalty in 1998 - Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico and New York - no longer impose the punishment. Some of the changes set out in this second edition involve discussions of all of the significant cases decided by the United States Supreme Court after 1998, including Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005); Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002); Schriro v. Smith, 126 S.Ct. 7 (2005); Harbison v. Bell, 129 S.Ct. 1481 (2009); Holmes v. South Carolina, 126 S.Ct. 1727 (2006); Kansas v. Marsh, 126 S.Ct. 2516 (2006); Ring v. Arizona, 536 U.S. 584 (2002); Sattazahn v. Pennsylvania, 537 U.S. 101 (2003).
This new edition includes 13 new chapters. Areas covered by some of the new chapters include Capital felon's defense team; Habeas corpus, coram nobis and section 1983 proceedings; the Innocence protection act and post-conviction DNA testing; Challenging the death sentence under racial justice acts; Inhabited American territories and capital punishment; and the Costs of capital punishment.