Unsurprisingly, much of the social science research agenda on the death penalty is centered in the United States, a country that permits federal government and state governments to use death as a punishment for homicide. Scholars designed the agenda to speak on issues thought to be important in the ongoing campaign against capital punishment. Here they have focused on the adequacy of the philosophical justifications and policy rationales offered in support of the death penalty, and have also examined the outcomes of capital punishment to determine whether the process lives up to certain legal and political standards. Recently the agenda of research has broadened with particular interest in understanding the social, political, and culture life of capital punishment. Scholars seek to understand the factors that shape and influence this particularly severe form of punishment. This volume is organized around two sets of concerns which emerge from the extant scholarly research agenda. These concerns are labeled 'influences' and 'outcomes'. The former attend to the social, political, and legal context that shapes the death penalty in the United States. The latter speaks to the results and impact of its use. The book contains exemplary articles that illustrate the influences on, and outcomes of the death penalty system in the United States.