The Death Penalty in Post-Independence Ireland

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Title: The Death Penalty in Post-Independence Ireland
Authors: Doyle, David
O'Donnell, Ian
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Date: Mar-2012
Abstract: The history of capital punishment in post-Independence Ireland has received scant scholarly attention. This essay is an attempt to set out what can be learned about the executed persons, the executioners, and the politicians whose inaction (not reforming the law) and actions (deciding against clemency) brought the two former groups together. The death penalty was deployed strategically against IRA members during the early 1940s as part of a package of legal measures designed to crush subversive activity, but more usually its targets were murderers whose acts had no wider ramifications. One notable aspect of the Irish arrangements was that when a prisoner was to be taken to the gallows an English hangman was always contracted to arrange the 'drop'. Reflecting popular antipathy towards the practice the Irish state was unable to find a willing executioner within its borders.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Journal: Journal of Legal History
Volume: 33
Issue: 1
Start page: 65
End page: 91
Copyright (published version): 2012 Taylor and Francis
Keywords: Capital punishmentIreland
DOI: 10.1080/01440365.2012.661141
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Law Research Collection

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