Qualities of Mercy: Justice, Punishment, and Discretion

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Carolyn Strange
UBC Press, 1996 - History - 186 pages
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Qualities of Mercy deals with the history of mercy, theremittance of punishments in the criminal law. The writers probe thediscretionary use of power and inquire how it has been exercised tospare convicted criminals from the full might of the law. Drawing onthe history of England, Canada, and Australia in periods when bothcapital and corporal punishment were still practised, they show thatcontrary to common assumptions the past was not a time of unmitigatedterror and they ask what inspired restraint in punishment. Theyconclude that the ability to decide who lived and died -- through theexercise or denial of mercy -- reinforced the power structure.
  

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Collection of essays concerning punishment and mercy in Great Britain, USA, Canada, and Australia. Read full review

Contents

The Decline
21
Transportation Penal Practices and the English State
52
The Politics of Pardons and the Upper
77
Native Culture and the Modification of Capital Punish
104
Political Culture and the Death Penalty in
130
An Afterword
166
Contributors
179
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

Carolyn Strange teaches at the Centre of Criminologyat the University of Toronto. She is the author of Toronto'sGirl Problem: The Perils and Pleasures of the City, 1880-1930.

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