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Legacy Of Violence

Author: John D. Bessler
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 9780816638109
Size: 27.20 MB
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"The first comprehensive history of lynchings and state-sanctioned executions in Minnesota. Minnesota is one of only twelve states that does not allow the death penalty, but that was not always the case. In fact, until 1911 executions in the state were legal and frequently carried out. In Legacy of Violence, John D. Bessler takes us on a compelling journey through the history of lynchings and state-sanctioned executions that dramatically shaped Minnesota's past." "Through personal accounts of those involved with the events, Bessler traces the history of both famous and lesser-known executions and lynchings in Minnesota, the state's anti-death penalty and anti-lynching movements, and the role of the media in the death penalty debate. Bessler reveals Abraham Lincoln' thoughts as he ordered the largest mass execution in U. S. history of thirty-eight Indians in Mankato after the Dakota Conflict of 1862. He recounts the events surrounding the death of Ann Bilansky, the only woman ever executed in Minnesota, and the infamous botched hanging of William Williams, which led to renewed calls for the abolition of capital punishment. He tells the story of the 1920 lynching in Duluth of three African-Americans circus workers - wrongfully accused of rape - and the anti-lynching crusade that followed. The significant role that Minnesota played in America's transformation to private, after-dark executions is presented in the discussion of the "midnight assassination law."" "Bessler's account is made more timely by thirty-five hundred people on death row in America today - more than at any other time in our nation's history. Is Minnesota's current approach superior to that of states that have capital punishment? Bessler looks at Minnesota history to ask whether the application of the death penalty can truly solve the problem of violence in America."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Lynching Beyond Dixie

Author: Michael James Pfeifer
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 0252037464
Size: 36.36 MB
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In recent decades, scholars have explored much of the history of mob violence in the American South, especially in the years after Reconstruction. However, the lynching violence that occurred in American regions outside the South, where hundreds of persons, including Hispanics, whites, African Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans died at the hands of lynch mobs, has received less attention. This collection of essays by prominent and rising scholars fills this gap by illuminating the factors that distinguished lynching in the West, the Midwest, and the Mid-Atlantic. The volume adds to a more comprehensive history of American lynching and will be of interest to all readers interested in the history of violence across the varied regions of the United States. Contributors are Jack S. Blocker Jr., Brent M. S. Campney, William D. Carrigan, Sundiata Keita Cha-Jua, Dennis B. Downey, Larry R. Gerlach, Kimberley Mangun, Helen McLure, Michael J. Pfeifer, Christopher Waldrep, Clive Webb, and Dena Lynn Winslow.

The Roots Of Rough Justice

Author: Michael J. Pfeifer
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 0252093097
Size: 24.69 MB
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In this deeply researched prequel to his 2006 study Rough Justice: Lynching and American Society, 1874–1947, Michael J. Pfeifer analyzes the foundations of lynching in American social history. Scrutinizing the vigilante movements and lynching violence that occurred in the middle decades of the nineteenth century on the Southern, Midwestern, and far Western frontiers, The Roots of Rough Justice: Origins of American Lynching offers new insights into collective violence in the pre-Civil War era. Pfeifer examines the antecedents of American lynching in an early modern Anglo-European folk and legal heritage. He addresses the transformation of ideas and practices of social ordering, law, and collective violence in the American colonies, the early American Republic, and especially the decades before and immediately after the American Civil War. His trenchant and concise analysis anchors the first book to consider the crucial emergence of the practice of lynching of slaves in antebellum America. Pfeifer also leads the way in analyzing the history of American lynching in a global context, from the early modern British Atlantic to the legal status of collective violence in contemporary Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. Seamlessly melding source material with apt historical examples, The Roots of Rough Justice tackles the emergence of not only the rhetoric surrounding lynching, but its practice and ideology. Arguing that the origins of lynching cannot be restricted to any particular region, Pfeifer shows how the national and transatlantic context is essential for understanding how whites used mob violence to enforce the racial and class hierarchies across the United States.

It Happened In Minnesota

Author: Darrell Ehrlick
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 1461747317
Size: 37.60 MB
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A fascinating collection of thirty compelling stories about events that shaped the North Star State, It Happened in Minnesota describes everything from harrowing shootouts with Sioux Indians to the mass execution of thirty-eight men, a bank robbery by Jesse James to the opening of the Mall of America. In an easy-to-read style that is entertaining as well as informative, It Happened in Minnesota will interest people of all ages.

Kiss Of Death

Author: John D. Bessler
Publisher: Northeastern Univ Pr
ISBN:
Size: 27.13 MB
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Few Issues Provoke such intense feelings and strongly held views as does capital punishment. In Kiss of Death, John D. Bessler skillfully interweaves the powerful life stories of death row prisoners, his own experiences as a pro bono attorney on death penalty cases in Texas, and historical perspective to persuade the reader that state-sanctioned executions must be abolished in the United States. Bessler's compelling, well-crafted narrative asks if capital punishment has less to do with crime control and more to do with vengeance and swift retribution--an eye-for-an-eye, a tooth-for-a-tooth. The author argues convincingly that the death penalty is just another form of violence in an already too-violent society. He contends that sentencing capital offenders to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole is the best way to meet the needs of public safety while breaking the self-destructive cycle of violence. Placing the nation's complex, ever-changing relationship with capital punishment within legal, cultural, and historical contexts, Bessler dispels myths about the death penalty and addresses such subjects as racial discrimination in capital cases, wrongful convictions, the prominent role of guns in American life and in homicides, the issue of deterrence versus brutalization, the impact of executions on corrections officers and others in the criminal justice system, and the worldwide movement toward abolition. Also included is a call for televised executions as a means of exposing the reality of capital punishment to the public. Kiss of Death brings a fresh yet reasoned approach to an emotionally charged and highly contentious debate. It shows why people should care--in fact, beoutraged--that government-sponsored killings are still taking place today.

Deadliest Enemies

Author: Thomas Biolsi
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520923775
Size: 43.79 MB
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Racial tension between Native American and white people on and near Indian reservations is an ongoing problem in the United States. As far back as 1886, the Supreme Court said that "because of local ill feeling, the people of the United States where [Indian tribes] are found are often their deadliest enemies." This book examines the history of troubled relations on and around Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota over the last three decades and asks why Lakota Indians and whites living there became hostile to one another. Thomas Biolsi's important study traces the origins of racial tension between Native Americans and whites to federal laws themselves, showing how the courts have created opposing political interests along race lines. Drawing on local archival research and ethnographic fieldwork on Rosebud Reservation, Biolsi argues that the court's definitions of legal rights—both constitutional and treaty rights—make solutions to Indian-white problems difficult. Although much of his argument rests on his analysis of legal cases, the central theoretical concern of the book is the discourse rooted in legal texts and how it applies to everyday social practices. This nuanced and powerful study sheds much-needed light on why there are such difficulties between Native Americans and whites in South Dakota and in the rest of the United States.

Gruesome Spectacles

Author: Austin Sarat
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 0804791724
Size: 64.20 MB
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Gruesome Spectacles tells the sobering history of botched, mismanaged, and painful executions in the U.S. from 1890 to the present. Since the book's initial publication in 2014, the cruel and unusual executions of a number of people on death row, including Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma and Joseph Wood in Arizona, have made headlines and renewed vigorous debate surrounding the death penalty in America. Austin Sarat's book instantly became an essential resource for citizens, scholars, and lawmakers interested in capital punishment—even the Supreme Court, which cited the book in its recent opinion, Glossip v. Gross. Now in paperback, the book includes a new preface outlining the latest twists and turns in the death penalty debate, including the recent galvanization of citizens and leaders alike as recent botched executions have unfolded in the press. Sarat argues that unlike in the past, today's botched executions seem less like inexplicable mishaps and more like the latest symptoms of a death penalty machinery in disarray. Gruesome Spectacles traces the historical evolution of methods of execution, from hanging or firing squad to electrocution to gas and lethal injection. Even though each of these technologies was developed to "perfect" state killing by decreasing the chance of a cruel death, an estimated three percent of all American executions went awry in one way or another. Sarat recounts the gripping and truly gruesome stories of some of these deaths—stories obscured by history and to some extent, the popular press.

The Infamous Harry Hayward

Author: Shawn Francis Peters
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 1452957118
Size: 60.46 MB
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A fascinating tale of seduction, murder, fraud, coercion—and the trial of the “Minneapolis Monster” On a winter night in 1894, a young woman’s body was found in the middle of a road near Lake Calhoun on the outskirts of Minneapolis. She had been shot through the head. The murder of Kittie Ging, a twenty-nine-year-old dressmaker, was the final act in a melodrama of seduction and betrayal, petty crimes and monstrous deeds that would obsess reporters and their readers across the nation when the man who likely arranged her killing came to trial the following spring. Shawn Francis Peters unravels that sordid, spellbinding story in his account of the trial of Harry Hayward, a serial seducer and schemer whom some deemed a “Svengali,” others a “Machiavelli,” and others a “lunatic” and “man without a soul.” Dubbed “one of the greatest criminals the world has ever seen” by the famed detective William Pinkerton, Harry Hayward was an inveterate and cunning plotter of crimes large and small, dabbling in arson, insurance fraud, counterfeiting, and illegal gambling. His life story, told in full for the first time here, takes us into shadowy corners of the nineteenth century, including mesmerism, psychopathy, spiritualism, yellow journalism, and capital punishment. From the horrible fate of an independent young businesswoman who challenged Victorian mores to the shocking confession of Hayward on the eve of his execution (which, if true, would have made him a serial killer), The Infamous Harry Hayward unfolds a transfixing tale of one of the most notorious criminals in America during the Gilded Age.

Degrees Of Freedom

Author: William D. Green
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780816693467
Size: 40.93 MB
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He had just given a rousing speech to a crammed assembly in St. Paul, but Frederick Douglass, confidant to the Great Emancipator himself and conscience of the Republican Party, was denied a hotel room because he was black. This was Minnesota in 1873, four years after the state had approved black suffrage—a state where “freedom” meant being unshackled from chains but not social restrictions, where “equality” meant access to the ballot but not to a hotel or restaurant downtown. Spanning the half century after the Civil War, Degrees of Freedom draws a rare picture of black experience in a northern state of this period and of the nature of black discontent and action within a predominantly white, ostensibly progressive society. William D. Green brings to light a full cast of little-known historical characters among the black men and women who moved to Minnesota following the Fifteenth Amendment; worked as farmhands and laborers; built communities (such as Pig's Eye Landing, later renamed St. Paul), businesses, and a newspaper (the Western Appeal); and embodied the slow but inexorable advancement of race relations in the state over time. Within this absorbing, often surprising, narrative we meet “ordinary” citizens, like former slave and early settler Jim Thompson and black barbers catering to a white clientele, but also outsize figures of national stature, such as Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, and W. E. B. Du Bois, all of whom championed civil rights in Minnesota. And we see how, in a state where racial prejudice and oppression wore a liberal mask, black settlers and entrepreneurs, politicians, and activists maneuvered within a restricted political arena to bring about real and lasting change.