, 10 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
Since Home Secretary @patel4witham recently tried to deny that she's in favour of the #deathpenalty & the US Govt has announced it's bringing back federal death penalty, I've been thinking about the women in my book Women and the Gallows 1797 to 1837 THREAD 1/n
Also every time I watch A Handmaid's Tale, I think of the mass hangings in the #18thc, where up to 20 people were dispatched in one go. Also the grim accidents at hangings where the rope snapped or people watching were killed in the crush. But most of all, I think of.. 2/n
Eliza Fenning, accused of attempting to murder a family by poisoning dumplings. No one died. Almost certainly innocent (I only qualify it bc there is no way to be ABSOLUTELY sure). She had a deeply unfair trial heard by a judge determined to kill her. She was shown no mercy. 3/n
I also think of the desperate women who killed their babies in desperation or in the midst of mental crises. Not unusual for judges, lawyers and doctors to weight evidence that the death was an accident or natural when clearly not.. (Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/3572119…) 4/n
in an effort to save the accused from the gallows. Compassion could be shown. More about this here: naomiclifford.com/portfolio/desp… and here naomiclifford.com/47-cases-of-in… 5/n
There were other cases, of women hanged for highway robbery, setting fire to hay ricks, passing forged bank notes, sheep stealing and, of course, stealing. But only 1 in 10 people who were sentenced to death were actually executed. Others were transported or imprisoned. 6/n
Whole system was unfair to the poor (nothing much has changed there) & riddled with inconsistencies and v random. Criminal justice system is nowhere near perfect (or perhaps even good enough) but at least it doesn't hand down sentences that by their nature cannot be reversed 7/n
#PRITIPATEL claimed her comments were taken out of context but if you watch the footage you can see that clearly they were not. #liar. independent.co.uk/news/uk/politi…
Careful what you wish for. END
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Just noticed I used desperate/-ion but I'm sure you'll forgive me...
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