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Justice, Mercy, and Caprice – Clemency and the Death Penalty in Ireland - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Justice, Mercy, and Caprice: Clemency and the Death Penalty in Ireland

Ian O'Donnell


Justice, Mercy, and Caprice is a work of criminal justice history that speaks to the gradual emergence of a more humane Irish state. It is a close examination of what can be learned from the National Archives of Ireland about the decision to grant clemency to men and women sentenced to death between the end of the civil war in 1923 and the abolition of capital punishment in 1990. Frequently, the decision to deflect the law from its course was an attempt to introduce a measure of justice to a system where the mandatory death sentence for murder caused predictable unfairness and undue harshness. ... More

Keywords: death penalty, capital punishment, clemency, coercive confinement, IRA, Magdalen laundry, commutation, mercy

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780198798477
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198798477.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ian O'Donnell, author
University College Dublin