It is easy to forget that the death penalty was not abolished until 1976 and was an entrenched aspect of Canadian culture and criminal justice from the time of Confederation. "The Practice of Execution in Canada" is not about what led some to the gallows and others to escape it. It is about the taken-for-granted rituals and practices of execution, seen as a social institution. Drawing on hundreds of fascinating case files, Ken Leyton-Brown shows that each phase of the practice of execution - from the trial to interment of the body - was constrained by law and tradition. But the institution was not rigid. As criticism and reform pushed executions out of the public eye, they were emptied of meaningful ritual and became more vulnerable to criticism. Comprehensive and absorbing, this groundbreaking study is for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of contemporary debates on capital punishment.
History, Americas, Canada,