Hidden Victims The Effects of the Death Penalty on Families of the Accused

ISBN-10: 0813535840

ISBN-13: 9780813535845

Edition: 2005

Authors: Susan F. Sharp

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"Sharp's book reemphasizes the tremendous costs of maintaining the death penalty--costs to real people and real families that ripple throughout generations to come."--Saundra D. Westervelt, author of Shifting the Blame: How Victimization Became a Criminal Defense "Everyone concerned with the effects of capital punishment must have this book."--Margaret Vandiver, professor, department of criminology and criminal justice, University of Memphis Murderers, particularly those sentenced to death, are considered by most to be unusually heinous, often sub-human, and entirely different from the rest of us. In Hidden Victims, sociologist Susan F. Sharp challenges this culturally ingrained perspective by reminding us that those individuals facing a death sentence, in addition to being murderers, are brothers or sisters, mothers or fathers, daughters or sons, relatives or friends. Through a series of vivid and in-depth interviews with families of the accused, she demonstrates how the exceptionally severe way in which we view those on death row trickles down to those with whom they are closely connected. Sharp shows how family members and friends--in effect, the indirect victims of the initial crime--experience a profoundly complicated and socially isolating grief process. Departing from a humanist perspective from which most accounts of victims are told, Sharp makes her case from a sociological standpoint that draws out the parallel experiences and coping mechanisms of these individuals. Chapters focus on responses to sentencing, the particular structure of grieving faced by this population, execution, aftermath, wrongful conviction, family formation after conviction, and the complex situation ofindividuals related to both the killer and the victim. Powerful, poignant, and intelligently written, Hidden Victims challenges all of us--regardless of which side of the death penalty we are on--to understand the economic, social, and psychological repercussions that shape the lives of the often forgotten families of death row inmates. Susan F. Sharp is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Oklahoma.
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Book details

List price: $29.95
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication date: 6/8/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 248
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.748

Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Death Penalty, Victims' Families, and Families of Prisoners
Dealing with the Horror: "We're Sentenced, Too": Families of Individuals Facing a Death Sentence
Trying to Cope: Withdrawal, Anger, and Joining
The Grief Process: Denial and Horror, the BADD Cycle (Bargaining, Activity, Disillusionment, and Desperation)
Facing the End: Families and Execution
Aftermath: Picking Up the Pieces
"But He's Innocent"
Double Losers: Being Both a Victim's Family Member and an Offender's Family Member
Family after the Fact: Fictive Kin and Death Row Marriages
The Death Penalty and Families, Revisited
Conclusion
Death Row Visitation Policies (Social/Family Visits)
Interview Schedule for Initial Interviews
Demographics of Interview Subjects
Notes
Bibliography
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