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Forced-erasure decoding, an easily implementable technique for realizing the fullest capability of a code, is presented and discussed. This type of decoding combines the implementation simplicity of digital decoding with the performance enhancement expected of correlation decoding techniques. Adaptive versions, with and without interleaving for fading channels, are described. An exact expression for word-error probability in white Gaussian noise is derived. The concept of a code erasure reconstruction spectrum is introduced and several new results presented, along with a review of applicable, known ones.