History - History of American Capital Punishment Different...

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History of American Capital Punishment
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Different today? Grand narrative of progress Blind acceptance? Abolition
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Early Beginnings British influence “The Bloody Code”
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The Colonial Period 1608 Property People Morality
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Colonial Purposes Deterrence Public executions Repentance
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Public Executions “To alarm and deter” “Publicly inflicted on the wicked”
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Public Executions Maximum effect – Daytime – Open space – Near crime – “Companions”
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Repentance Weeks to repent Reflection But…
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Criminal Salvation Important – Deterrence – Costs – Risk
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Death Row Religious instruction Ministers: “Repent!!” Conspicuous confessions Visitors
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Southern Colonies Stronger British influence More capital crimes – Property – People – Morality
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Southern Purposes Slave laws Control
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Southern Criminal Codes Vast Disparities – VA • 66 for slaves, 1 for whites – MS • 38 for slaves, 0 for whites – Other states
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Slave Laws NY (1712) – Attempted murder or rape
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Slave Laws SC (1740) – Destroying grain – Enticing runaways – Bruising whites
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Slave Laws VA – Prepare or administer medicine
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Slave Laws MD – Conspiring to: • Rebel • Rape • Burn a house
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Expedited Procedures Justices of Peace and Judges – VA (1692) – SC (1740) Not juries
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History - History of American Capital Punishment Different...

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