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Laws 2014, 3(1), 153-162; doi:10.3390/laws3010153

The Dog that Stopped Barking: Mass Legal Executions in 21st Century America

1
Independence Institute, 727 E. 16th Avenue, Denver, CO 80203, USA
2
Department of Criminal Justice, Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, AL 36265, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 December 2013 / Revised: 21 February 2014 / Accepted: 21 February 2014 / Published: 24 February 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Death Penalty in the 21st Century)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [68 KB, uploaded 24 February 2014]

Abstract

During the first two centuries of European colonization of what is now the United States, executions for a variety of offenses relatively frequently involved mass executions, that is, the execution for the same criminal incident of four or more persons. By the time of American independence, some of those crimes had largely ceased to exist or to elicit such punishment, like witchcraft and piracy. However, the punishment of slaves and Indians kept the percentage of executed persons involved in mass executions significant, if not large. During the last quarter of the 19th and first six decades of the 20th century, mass legal executions diminished as a percentage and were largely limited to punishing robbery-related homicides, including felony-homicides of conspirators. Throughout that period, the end of mass executions for a particular crime presaged the end of all executions for that offense, and the last mass legal execution occurred in 1960. View Full-Text
Keywords: Colonial America; United States; capital crimes; mass executions; aggravated homicide; felony-murder Colonial America; United States; capital crimes; mass executions; aggravated homicide; felony-murder
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Blackman, P.H.; McLaughlin, V. The Dog that Stopped Barking: Mass Legal Executions in 21st Century America. Laws 2014, 3, 153-162.

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