Abstract

Abstract:

Capital punishment was used with caution in post-Famine Ireland, and when it was handed down, it was routinely commuted to penal servitude for life. Drawing primarily on General Prison Board and coronial court records, this article adopts a Foucauldian lens to examine the procedure with respect to executions in a representative sample of agrarian, political, and domestic abuse cases that came before the Home Circuit and Dublin Commission after the Capital Punishment Act 1868. The cases discussed share a threshold of heinousness that not only assured public support of the most extreme punishment, it also justified hanging in a volatile sociopolitical environment.

pdf

Share