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History of Capital Punishment

This resource provides a comprehensive overview of the history of death penalty legislation and includes the Eugene G. Wanger and Marilyn M. Wanger Death Penalty Collection: A Descriptive Bibliography.

Meet the Authors

Eugene G. Wanger, the author of this book, graduated from Amherst College with honors. He earned his law degree from the University of Michigan, where he was a champion moot court competitor. Later, he was elected from Lansing to the Michigan Constitutional Convention of 1961-1962, where he authored the state’s constitutional ban of the death penalty (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 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, and his collection on that subject was considered the largest in America in private hands before being made part of the National Death Penalty Archives 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.

Marilyn M. Wanger (nee Morris) 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.