Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

The Ironies of Helping: Social Interventions and Executable Subjects

Kerry Dunn and Paul J. Kaplan
Law & Society Review
Vol. 43, No. 2 (Jun., 2009), pp. 337-368
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Law and Society Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/29734193
Page Count: 32
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Ironies of Helping: Social Interventions and Executable Subjects
Preview not available

Abstract

Law and society scholars have theorized about the link between capital punishment and the hegemony of individualism, but few offer empirical investigations to illustrate how individualism makes capital punishment possible (and vice versa) in the contemporary United States. In order to fill this gap, we analyze the legal and human service records that were compiled in the construction of one executable subject, Daniel Farnsworth. Using a critical discourse approach, we look at what was said and not said about Daniel in the records created by various helping agencies. In our analysis, we demonstrate how the helping agencies involved in Daniel's life repeatedly relied on an individuating psychological paradigm that led them to produce decontextualized catalogs of his actions and characteristics. Next, we illustrate how these pathologizing accounts were, ironically, later invoked in court in the name of preserving his life. Finally, we explain how "helping" discourses, along with the rules that regulate capital defense practice, straightjacket defense attorneys into reinforcing individualism in this context.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
337
    337
  • Thumbnail: Page 
338
    338
  • Thumbnail: Page 
339
    339
  • Thumbnail: Page 
340
    340
  • Thumbnail: Page 
341
    341
  • Thumbnail: Page 
342
    342
  • Thumbnail: Page 
343
    343
  • Thumbnail: Page 
344
    344
  • Thumbnail: Page 
345
    345
  • Thumbnail: Page 
346
    346
  • Thumbnail: Page 
347
    347
  • Thumbnail: Page 
348
    348
  • Thumbnail: Page 
349
    349
  • Thumbnail: Page 
350
    350
  • Thumbnail: Page 
351
    351
  • Thumbnail: Page 
352
    352
  • Thumbnail: Page 
353
    353
  • Thumbnail: Page 
354
    354
  • Thumbnail: Page 
355
    355
  • Thumbnail: Page 
356
    356
  • Thumbnail: Page 
357
    357
  • Thumbnail: Page 
358
    358
  • Thumbnail: Page 
359
    359
  • Thumbnail: Page 
360
    360
  • Thumbnail: Page 
361
    361
  • Thumbnail: Page 
362
    362
  • Thumbnail: Page 
363
    363
  • Thumbnail: Page 
364
    364
  • Thumbnail: Page 
365
    365
  • Thumbnail: Page 
366
    366
  • Thumbnail: Page 
367
    367
  • Thumbnail: Page 
368
    368