Marc Bookman at the Center for Brooklyn History
June 17, 2021
- 6:30 pm ET
Center for Brooklyn History

The death penalty is out-lawed in more than 70% of the world’s countries, yet the United States still wears this global badge of shame. In 2020 we ranked 6th in state-sanctioned killings, behind only China, Iran, Egypt, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Why is this primitive practice so intractable in the U.S.? And what does the future hold? Marc Bookman, one of America’s leading death penalty abolitionists, describes a dozen harrowing cases in his new book A Descending Spiral. He’s joined in conversation by two others who have first-hand knowledge of America’s ‘injustice system’—Philadelphia District Attorney, and author of For the People: A Story of Justice and Power, Larry Krasner, who in 2019 asked the PA Supreme Court to declare the death penalty unconstitutional, and Christina Swarns, executive director of The Innocence Project. Moderated by Josie Duffy Rice, president of The Appeal.