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Lecture 3

Lecture 3 - The Death Penalty.docx

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HIST 3850
Patrick J Connor

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HIST3850 Patrick Connor September 28, 2012 Lecture #3: The Death Penalty Capital Punishment Before 1900 Roll/Function of Punishment • Functional approaches to punishment • More functional than death penalty (very uncommon now) o Incapacitation o Denunciation o Specific Deterrence o General Deterrence o Reformation and Rehabilitation Doug Hay • 18 century England o Law as ideology o Bloody code (250 capital crimes) • Law split up into 3 elements: o Majesty – the idea that law should be overwhelming, above humans o Mercy – law merciful to everyone o Equity/Justice – law cannot be arbitrary, must follow procedures • Reactive policy • Usually every city had a constable • Lots of local control • System reactive, not proactive • Preventive part came from Bloody Code • Informal name or a punitive criminal code o Not going to catch everyone but if they do, they’ll punish so severely you will never commit crimes again • Shoplifting, disguise, stealing fruit or wood, larsony would all end up in death penalty • Law should be applied to everyone regardless of place in society or wealth • Law should be applied equally to everyone and be fair • Usually wealthy did not need to commit crimes that would get them executed • Sometimes happened which reinforced idea that law applied to everyone • Between 1791 (Ontario founded) and 1867, there were 394 death sentences o Only 88 were actually carried out o Good chance of proceeding loyal mercy • Displays of mercy reminded everyone that law wasn’t cruel, strict but merciful • To receive royal favour of mercy you had to deserve it o Show you are on individual of good character, hard worker, sober, family man, made a mistake • Mercy meant to function as a means of social control • Had flaws and eventually fell apart • People found execution distasteful • People began to be convinced they would be pardoned (criminals/convicts) • One guy laughed in judges face when sentenced and he was let go in spite of that • England managed to maintain oppressive class system • People behaved because of law and because they saw law as legitimate • Public opinion was increasingly seeing capital punishment as too harsh • By late 1700s – early 1800s, England began developing middle class • Merchants o Shops getting robbed o Vying for punishments that were not as harsh as death but a systematic punishment that would actually be carried out • First few decades in 19 century – reform was badly needed • English Parliament took massive overhaul in 1867 • In Ontario in 1833, both cases capital punishment replaced with prison term • Idea of imprisonment fairly new • In 1829, 2 years after England’s Bloody Code abolished, number of capital crimes drastically reduces • 1900’s – treason, murder and rape were only things you could be hung for in Canada • Public executions always hanging Angelique Pilotte, Niagara 1817 • Daughter of native women – Metis • Tried and sentenced in 1817 for killing her newborn baby • Had good reputation where she lived • Impressed Mrs. Droman and was hired as a maid • Travelled to Europe with her at the age of 18 • Mistress died, she was forced to come to Canada • Became the maid for Wher family in 1817 at the end of July • A week late, a dead baby was foun
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