In recent years the death penalty has sharply declined across Africa, but this trend belies actual public opinion and the retributivist sentiments held by political elites. This study explains capital punishment in Africa in terms of culturally specific notions of life and death as well as the colonial-era imposition of criminal and penal policy.
1. Introduction to the Death Penalty in Sub-Saharan Africa 2. Capital Punishment in Precolonial African Society 3. Executions and State Power during the Colonial Period 4. The Politicization of the Death Penalty After Independence 5. An Opening: The Death Penalty in an Era of Democratization 6. The Operation of the Modern Death Penalty in Africa 7. Conclusion: The Future of the Death Penalty in Africa
"Despite its political and cultural significance, Africa has been an under-researched continent in the study of the death penalty. The Death Penalty in Africa: Foundations and Future Prospects fills this gap in scholarship through an eloquent account of the origins, key features and dynamics of the death penalty in Africa. This timely book deserves much attention from anyone interested in the history and future of the death penalty."
- Sangmin Bae, Northeastern Illinois University, USA, and the author of When the State No Longer Kills: International Human Rights Norms and the Abolition of Capital Punishment