Book Review: The Birth of American Law: An Italian Philosopher and The American Revolution

John Bessler is one of America’s leading academic critics of capital punishment. (He also is this reviewer’s colleague at the University of Baltimore School of Law.) In an impressive series of books and articles, Bessler has systematically undermined the popular but too-simplistic notion that the death penalty is consistent with American tradition and with the original understanding of the Founders. The Birth of American Law is Bessler’s latest variation on this theme.