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BARRY LATZER is Emeritus Professor of Criminal Justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, and a former member of the Doctoral Faculty in Criminal Justice at the CUNY Graduate School and University Center. He received a JD from Fordham University (1985) and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (1977). Professor Latzer has published widely on capital punishment and criminal procedure law. His casebook, Death Penalty Cases (Butterworth-Heinemann 2011, co-authored with David McCord), is now in its third edition. He also wrote two books on state constitutional criminal procedure: State Constitutional Criminal Law (Clark, Boardman, Callaghan 1995) and State Constitutions and Criminal Justice (Greenwood Press 1991). Professor Latzer briefly served as an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn and as appellate counsel for indigent criminal defendants in New York City. He lives in New Jersey.
Starting in the late 1960s, the United States suffered the biggest rise in violent crime in its history. Aside from the movement for black civil rights, it is difficult to think of a phenomenon that had a more profound effect on American life in the last third of the 20th century.