Qualities of Mercy: Justice, Punishment, and Discretion

Front Cover
Carolyn Strange
UBC Press, 1996 - History - 186 pages
Qualities of Mercy deals with the history of mercy, the remittance of punishments in the criminal law. The writers probe the discretionary use of power and inquire how it has been exercised to spare convicted criminals from the full might of the law. Drawing on the history of England, Canada, and Australia in periods when both capital and corporal punishment were still practised, they show that contrary to common assumptions the past was not a time of unmitigated terror and they ask what inspired restraint in punishment. They conclude that the ability to decide who lived and died -- through the exercise or denial of mercy -- reinforced the power structure.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - AlexTheHunn - LibraryThing

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


The Decline
Transportation Penal Practices and the English State
The Politics of Pardons and the Upper
Native Culture and the Modification of Capital Punish
Political Culture and the Death Penalty in
An Afterword

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

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.

Bibliographic information