top of page

Thu, Jan 25


Virtual Book Club: January 2024

Virtual Book Club: January 2024

Join us for a discussion of the book "Against the Death Penalty" by retired Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer!

Registration is closed
See other events
Virtual Book Club: January 2024
Virtual Book Club: January 2024

Time & Location

Jan 25, 2024, 7:00 PM EST – Jan 26, 2024, 8:00 PM EST

Virtual Book Club: January 2024


About the event

Get mobilized with SCAD and the SC Christian Action Council with our  Virtual Book Club! Our January selection is Against the Death Penalty by retired Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. 

Bring your favorite beverage as we discuss Against the Death Penalty. You are not required to read the book for the event and are encourage dto purchase the book at your local bookseller or borrow it from your local library!

Book Summary

Does the death penalty violate the Constitution? In Against the Death Penalty, Justice Stephen G. Breyer argues that it does: that it is carried out unfairly and inconsistently, and thus violates the ban on “cruel and unusual punishments” specified by the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution.

“Today’s administration of the death penalty,” Breyer writes, “involves three fundamental constitutional defects: (1) serious unreliability, (2) arbitrariness in application, and (3) unconscionably long delays that undermine the death penalty’s penological purpose. Perhaps as a result, (4) most places within the United States have abandoned its use.”

This volume contains Breyer’s dissent in the case of Glossip v. Gross, which involved an unsuccessful challenge to Oklahoma’s use of a lethal-injection drug because it might cause severe pain. Justice Breyer’s legal citations have been edited to make them understandable to a general audience, but the text retains the full force of his powerful argument that the time has come for the Supreme Court to revisit the constitutionality of the death penalty.

Breyer was joined in his dissent from the bench by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Their passionate argument has been cited by many legal experts — including fellow Justice Antonin Scalia — as signaling an eventual Court ruling striking down the death penalty. A similar dissent in 1963 by Breyer’s mentor, Justice Arthur J. Goldberg, helped set the stage for a later ruling, imposing what turned out to be a four-year moratorium on executions.

Share this event

bottom of page