What acts truly deserve the death penalty? And how equitably do we apply this ultimate punishment? Cathleen Burnett explores wrongful capital sentencing to offer a sober yet searing critique of the criminal justice procedures and legal criteria involved. Highlighting problems such as the elicitation of false confessions, prosecutors who choose to ignore mitigating factors, and Supreme Court decisions that limit appeals, Burnett shows why those accused of capital crimes frequently fail to receive a fair hearing. Her rigorous and measured analysis underscores the crucial importance of the presumption of innocence in our society's pursuit of justice.