Sheldon Ekland-Olson

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The Rope, the Chair, and the Needle: Capital Punishment in Texas, 1923-1990

by James W. Marquart, Sheldon Ekland-Olson & Jonathan R. Sorensen

In late summer 1923, legal hangings in Texas came to an end, and the electric chair replaced the gallows. Of 520 convicted capital offenders sentenced to die between 1923 and 1972, 361 were actually executed,...

How Ethical Systems Change: Eugenics, the Final Solution, Bioethics

by Sheldon Ekland-Olson & Julie Beicken

Mandatory sterilization laws enacted in dozens of states coast-to-coast and approved by the U.S. Supreme Court formed the initial pillar for what became the Final Solution. Following WWII, there was renewed...

How Ethical Systems Change: Abortion and Neonatal Care

by Sheldon Ekland-Olson & Elyshia Aseltine

Roe v. Wade came like a bolt from the blue, but support had been building for years. For many, the idea that life in the womb was not fully protected under the Constitution was simply not acceptable. Political...

How Ethical Systems Change: Tolerable Suffering and Assisted Dying

by Sheldon Ekland-Olson & Elyshia Aseltine

Medical advances prolong life. They also sometimes prolong suffering. Should we protect life or alleviate suffering? This dilemma formed the foundation for a powerful right-to-die movement and a counterbalancing...

How Ethical Systems Change: Lynching and Capital Punishment

by Sheldon Ekland-Olson & Danielle Dirks

Slavery, lynching and capital punishment were interwoven in the United States and by the mid-twentieth century these connections gave rise to a small but well-focused reform movement. Biased and perfunctory...

Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Decides?: Abortion, Neonatal Care, Assisted Dying, and Capital Punishment

by Sheldon Ekland-Olson

Issues of Life and Death such as abortion, assisted suicide, capital punishment and others are among the most contentious in many societies. Whose rights are protected? How do these rights and protections change...