Qualities of Mercy: Justice, Punishment, and Discretion

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9780774805858: Qualities of Mercy: Justice, Punishment, and Discretion
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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.

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Review:

A major contribution to the historiography of crime and punishment in the Anglo-Saxon commonwealth ... a profoundly scholarly and at the same time intensely practical evocation of the value of historical method in challenging the cant, myth-making, and simplistic grandstanding of those who see the solution to all our ills as lying in a return to retribution and punitiveness. (John McLaren, University of Victoria)

This book contains original essays written by leading members of the new generation of historians concerned with criminal law and punishment ... the authors cause us to reflect on how the quest for justice and mercy that has characterized progressive penal policies is being eroded in the present climate of punitiveness. Given its enduring theme and exemplary research, Qualities of Mercy will not only serve as an important history for the present, but also as a lasting influence on scholarship in the future. (Richard Erickson, University of British Columbia)

About the Author:








Carolyn Strange teaches at the Centre of Criminology
at the University of Toronto. She is the author of Toronto's
Girl Problem: The Perils and Pleasures of the City, 1880-1930.


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9780774805841: Qualities of Mercy: Justice, Punishment and Discretion

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ISBN 10:  0774805846 ISBN 13:  9780774805841
Publisher: UBC Press, 1996
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Book Description University of British Columbia Press, Canada, 2003. Paperback. Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. The essays are an important contribution to current public policy debates. If today s move towards unyielding and harsher punishment proceeds, including campaigns to reinstate capital punishment, mercy alone will fail to neutralize the inequities of criminal justice. Only profound cultural shifts and transitions of sensibility have the force to stem the tide of unprecedented punitiveness. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780774805858

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Book Description University of British Columbia Press, Canada, 2003. Paperback. Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English. Brand new Book. Qualities of Mercy deals with the history of mercy, theremittance of punishments in the criminal law. The writers probe thediscretionary use of power and inquire how it has been exercised tospare convicted criminals from the full might of the law. Drawing onthe history of England, Canada, and Australia in periods when bothcapital and corporal punishment were still practised, they show thatcontrary to common assumptions the past was not a time of unmitigatedterror and they ask what inspired restraint in punishment. Theyconclude that the ability to decide who lived and died -- through theexercise or denial of mercy -- reinforced the power structure.The essays are an important contribution to current public policydebates. If today's move towards unyielding and harsher punishmentproceeds, including campaigns to reinstate capital punishment, mercyalone will fail to neutralize the inequities of criminal justice. Onlyprofound cultural shifts and transitions of sensibility have the forceto stem the tide of unprecedented punitiveness. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780774805858

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