dissecting the criminal corpse staging post execution punishment in early modern england palgrave historical studies in the criminal corpse and its afterlife

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Dissecting The Criminal Corpse

Author : Elizabeth T. Hurren
ISBN : 9781137582492
Genre : History
File Size : 68. 7 MB
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Those convicted of homicide were hanged on the public gallows before being dissected under the Murder Act in Georgian England. Yet, from 1752, whether criminals actually died on the hanging tree or in the dissection room remained a medical mystery in early modern society. Dissecting the Criminal Corpse takes issue with the historical cliché of corpses dangling from the hangman’s rope in crime studies. Some convicted murderers did survive execution in early modern England. Establishing medical death in the heart-lungs-brain was a physical enigma. Criminals had large bull-necks, strong willpowers, and hearty survival instincts. Extreme hypothermia often disguised coma in a prisoner hanged in the winter cold. The youngest and fittest were capable of reviving on the dissection table. Many died under the lancet. Capital legislation disguised a complex medical choreography that surgeons staged. They broke the Hippocratic Oath by executing the Dangerous Dead across England from 1752 until 1832. This book is open access under a CC-BY license.

Capital Punishment And The Criminal Corpse In Scotland 1740 1834

Author : Rachel E. Bennett
ISBN : 9783319620183
Genre : History
File Size : 35. 91 MB
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This book is open access under a CC BY 4.0 license. This book provides the most in-depth study of capital punishment in Scotland between the mid-eighteenth and early nineteenth century to date. Based upon an extensive gathering and analysis of previously untapped resources, it takes the reader on a journey from the courtrooms of Scotland to the theatre of the gallows. It introduces them to several of the malefactors who faced the hangman’s noose and explores the traditional hallmarks of the spectacle of the scaffold. It demonstrates that the period between 1740 and 1834 was one of discussion, debate and fundamental change in the use of the death sentence and how it was staged in practice. In addition, the study provides an innovative investigation of the post-mortem punishment of the criminal corpse. It offers the reader an insight into the scene at the foot of the gibbets from which criminal bodies were displayed and around the dissection tables of Scotland’s main universities where criminal bodies were used as cadavers for anatomical demonstration. In doing so it reveals an intermediate stage in the long-term disappearance of public bodily punishment.

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