History of Capital Punishment Database

  1. Home
  2. History of Capital Punishment
  3. History of Capital Punishment Database

History of Capital Punishment Database

It’s easily one of the most controversial and heavily debated issues in history, and HeinOnline has created a resource packed with information on capital punishment, providing researchers with a comprehensive overview of the history of death penalty legislation.

Major components of History of Capital Punishment include:

  • The Eugene G. Wanger and Marilyn M. Wanger Death Penalty Collection. This book is the result of more than 50 years of research by Eugene G. Wanger, a noted expert on the subject of capital punishment. It includes more than 7,000 bibliographic entries of books, pamphlets, periodicals, posters, photographs, and other memorabilia related to the history of the death penalty. Both a database version and PDF replica of the print product are included.
  • Nearly 650 of the bibliographic records in The Eugene G. Wanger and Marilyn M. Wanger Death Penalty Collection link to full-text documents.
  • Related trials, congressional hearings, periodicals, scholarly articles, and more.

Mr. Wanger’s work, combined with the additional content included in History of Capital Punishment in HeinOnline, provides an extensive and well-organized platform for research on capital punishment and related issues. Access digital replicas of original print publications, including current and important historical treatises on this relevant and long-debated topic.

About The Eugene G. Wanger and Marilyn M. Wanger Death Penalty Collection: A Descriptive Bibliography

The Eugene G. Wanger and Marilyn M. Wanger Death Penalty Collection is a bibliographic index referencing a wide variety of materials which document the history and debate about capital punishment as well as discuss the criminal justice system surrounding it.

The collection itself includes books, artifacts and ephemera, pamphlets, audio and video, prints, posters, buttons, reports, testimony, correspondence, files by subject, advocacy materials, and clippings. Mr. Wanger, a noted expert on this topic, created or collected the materials himself. The bound and boxed volumes of materials referenced in the bibliography, located at the National Death Penalty Archive at the State University of New York at Albany, provide a comprehensive overview of the history of death penalty legislation in Michigan. Through legislation in 1846, the state became first English-speaking government to abolish the death penalty for murder and lesser crimes.

This extraordinary and unique scholarly resource was compiled over a period of more than 50 years, and was digitized exclusively by HeinOnline at the authors’ request. The bibliography concentrates on the death penalty’s nature, history, operation, effects, psychology, desirability, and compatibility with religious and moral precepts. The material is organized into five parts:

Also included are finding lists, comprehensive search lists (including references to 97 names and subjects pertaining to capital punishment), and a general index. This incredible collection also includes Wanger’s testimony at numerous hearings opposing bills attempting to reinstate the death penalty, as well as brochures and short articles. Nearly 650 of the bibliographic records in The Eugene G. Wanger and Marilyn M. Wanger Death Penalty Collection link to full-text documents.

About Eugene G. Wanger and Marilyn M. Wanger

Eugene G. Wanger graduated from Amherst College with honors. He earned his law degree from the University of Michigan, where he was a champion moot court competitor, was elected president of his law fraternity and developed his interest in collecting books on history and government. Returning to Lansing and entering the practice of law, he was elected from that city to the Michigan Constitutional Convention of 1961-1962, where he was the youngest delegate of his political party and, among other provisions, authored the state’s constitutional ban on the death penalty, which is the only constitutional prohibition of capital punishment in the United States.

Since 1972 Mr. Wanger has co-chaired the Michigan Committee Against Capital Punishment, co-founded the Michigan Coalition Against the Death Penalty, and continued his interest in history and government, authoring several books and many articles. In 2005 Mr. Wanger received the Champion of Justice Award from the State Bar of Michigan for superior professional accomplishment benefiting the state and nation, especially through his work on capital punishment. A retrospective of his death penalty writings has been published by Michigan State University Press; his collection on that subject was considered the largest in America in private hands before being made part of the National Death Penalty Archive at the State University of New York at Albany. Biographies of Mr. Wanger are included in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Law.

He resides in Lansing with his wife of over fifty years, Marilyn M. Wanger, nee Morris, who is also a graduate of Michigan Law School, where the two of them met. Valedictorian of her high school class in Mason, Michigan, she was awarded an academic scholarship to Michigan State University. She wrote papers in high school and college against capital punishment. Following graduation, she taught English and mathematics before entering law school.

Mrs. Wanger has had a distinguished legal career, first as a Michigan Assistant Attorney General and then as a Commissioner of Michigan’s Court of Appeals. She was the first woman to serve on the Lansing Community College Board of Trustees.

Married for more than 50 years, Eugene and Marilyn Wanger continue to reside in Lansing, Michigan.

Searching the Database

Use the main search bar, located at the top of the page, to perform a topical search of all content in the online resource. All documents are image-based and fully searchable.

Results can be refined using the facets on the left side of the page. Search terms will be bold-faced throughout the results. Instantly download a section using the red PDF icon, email a PDF of a document to anyone, anywhere using the email icon, or bookmark an item to your MyHein personal research account:

To search Wanger’s bibliography specifically, select The Eugene G. Wanger & Marilyn M. Wanger Death Penalty Collection from the browse options on the collection homepage.  Use available search fields to search by text, author, and more.


Was this article helpful?