An Interfering Judge, a Biddable Executive, and an Unbroken Neck

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Title: An Interfering Judge, a Biddable Executive, and an Unbroken Neck
Authors: O'Donnell, Ian
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Date: Dec-2018
Online since: 2019-05-27T08:46:34Z
Abstract: Cahir Davitt had an aversion to capital punishment. This first came to light during the civil war when, as Judge-Advocate General of the National Army, he used a variety of stratagems to frustrate the execution of death sentences. He was appointed a judge of the High Court in 1945 and presided over five murder trials where a guilty verdict was returned and he was required to impose the mandatory sentence of death by hanging. In one of these cases (and in another where he was not the sentencing judge) he attended a Government meeting and argued, successfully, that the law should be deflected from its course. These interventions were kept secret at the time. They raise questions about the separation of powers in the context of executive clemency.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Irish Jurist
Journal: The Irish Jurist
Volume: 60
Start page: 112
End page: 122
Keywords: Cahir DavittCapital punishmentMurderClemencySeparation of powers
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Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Law Research Collection

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