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What was 18th Century Jail like?

- Held a mixture of people, sexes were mixed together
- People were able to come through & trade produce
- McGowen (1995) describes such jails as a kind of lodging house with mixed clientele
- One of Jack the Ripper’s victims went to a lodger house; and on her autopsy they fund act & bruises on her body from fights in the lodger house
- The jail or ‘gaol’ was a prison that held felons, debtors and those held for trial, those who committed petty offences
- No separation between felons and their fellow prisoners who were being held until they had paid overdue debts
- Members of the wider community were able to come and go from the jail freely to visit or trade produce with prisoners (Jewkes & Johnston, 2006)
- Problem of not being able to distinguish between felons, debtors and visitors with the only difference being that some prisoners were placed in irons
- Poor conditions, and no rehabilitation
- Noise, disorder and bad smells


What were some Other Uses for 18th Century Jail?

-The jail was also used to hold those awaiting transportational death
o 1788 – first boats to Australia for prisoners
o High death rates during transportation

- Capital punishment was used for many minor offences

- ‘Bloody cold’ ; 150-250 statutes incorporated every often as you could be hung of


What was 18th Century Punishment like?

- English justice still employed a wide variety of measures intended to both punish crime and act as a deterrent

- Many of these were public displays of punishment
o They had a right to see justice being served
o Also lets them know./ reminds them what would happen if they did the wrong thing
o These public punishments included branding, flogging and the pillory

- Often associated with the divine… of God and the King
o ‘If you do wrong, you also did wrong with God

- 1868: Hanging was abolished

- The worst punishment, and the one that was often carried out in the most public setting, was hanging on the gallows

- This punishment was often associated with the divine justice of God and the King and it was inflicted to avenge their honour, which the convict was said to have despoiled when they committed their crime.


What were the 3 Miscarriages of Justices that led to the Abolition of Capital Punishment in the UK?

Derek Bentley, Timothy Evans and Ruth Ellis


When was Capital Punishment in the UK Abolished?



What was the Derek Bentley event?

- Attempted a robbery and were caught by Sidney Miles

-Craig said “let him have it” -- Bentley thought that meant shoot, so he shot & killed the police officer. Craig meant let them have the gun

-This miscommunication of language cost a 19- year-old his life (Bentley was executed at 19 because of the crime)


How was Derek Bentley's case one of Injustice?

- His sister, Iris, claimed her brother had learning difficulties and had a mental age of an 11-yearold and was also an epileptic, unable to read or write.

- For years she kept his case in the public eye, writing letters to politicians, giving interviews and talks and writing a book.

- In 1991 a film Let Him Have It was made of Bentley's story highlighting the injustice of the case


How did Derek Bentley's case end?

- Eventually, in 1993 the then Home Secretary Michael Howard granted Bentley a partial pardon, saying it was clear he should never have been hanged but he remained guilty of taking part in the murder.

- In 1998 the Appeal Court quashed Bentley's conviction on the grounds the original trial judge was biased against the defendants and misdirected the jury on points of law.

- Scientific evidence also showed the three police officers who testified about Bentley shouting "Let him have it" had lied under oath.

- Iris Bentley died in 1997 before the case was referred back to the Appeal Court.

- Craig served 10 years before being released.


What was the Timothy Evan's case?

- Evans was charged for the murder of his wife & daughter

-Evans was known for his bad relationship with his wife, and the things he said he was going to do to her. This is why he was charged

-Both had been strangled in a bath house at an address that would a few years later become notorious with murder - 10 Rillington Place.

-Timothy Evans blamed his neighbour John Christie. No one would believe him.


How did the Timothy Evans case actually happen?

-John Christie was a necrophiliac, targeted people having abortions, took them home, gassed them, had sex with them, hid them in the walls

-One of the last century's most infamous serial killers.

-At his trial, Christie admitted that he had murdered Mrs Evans

-Christie went on to give evidence which would convict Mr Evans.

-3 years later Christie was found guilty of a string of murders at the address.

-The remains of Christie's wife Ethel and those of other women had been found in the house.


How was the Timothy Evans case one of Injustice?

- Evans was wrongfully hanged for the murder of his wife and daughter

- It was serial killer John Christie


What was Ruth Ellis' case?

-Last woman in England to be executed. She murdered her lover, David Blakely.

-She first married George Ellis. He was violent, alcoholic, jealous and possessive; and the marriage deteriorated rapidly because he was convinced she was having an affair.

-She then met David Blakely. The relationship with Blakely continued, however, and became increasingly violent and embittered as Ellis and Blakely continued to see other people.

-Blakely offered to marry Ellis, to which she consented, but she lost another child in January 1955, after a miscarriage induced by a punch to the stomach in an argument with Blakely.

-She then killed him, and straight up confessed


How was Ruth Ellis' case one of Injustice?

-Ruth Ellis' family campaigned for her murder conviction to be reduced to manslaughter on the grounds of provocation.

-Through the Criminal Cases Review Commission they brought the case to the Court of Appeal in September 2003.

-They argued Ellis was suffering "battered woman syndrome". She had suffered a miscarriage just 10 days before the killing after David Blakely had punched her in the stomach.

-But the appeal judges ruled she had been properly convicted of murder according to the law as it stood at the time. The defence of diminished responsibility did not then exist.


What is meant by the Modern Day Wtch Hunt?

Today's Salem - - On the lookout for murderers & paedophiles

- E.g. Cleveland case (1980s) – 197 families were affected as their children were suspected of being victims of abuse
o People were jailed, a man had a heart attack as a result of being accused as a paedophile, a woman terminated her own pregnancy due to her not wanting it taken away from her

- .e.g.(arguably) Operation Yewtree: because the police failed at the time (1970s), they are (arguably)now trying to redeem themselves by trying to find as many celebrity paedophiles as possible


What is a Summary of what Beccaria believed?

- 'On Crimes and Punishments' was the first critical analysis of capital punishment that demanded its abolition

-He also believed the punishment should fit the crime

- The law should restrict individuals as little as possible.

- Written law must be clear and advertised

- The system must be free from corruption

- Punishment is justified only if an offender has infringed the rights of others or the public good


What was Beccaria's views on Punishment?

- It’s better to prevent crimes than to punish for them.
- The law should guarantee the rights of the accused at all stages of the CJS (i.e. PACE).
- The seriousness of the crime should be determined by the by the harm it inflicts on others.
- Punishment should be proportionate to the crime committed.
- The ‘Bloody Code’ [hangings for almost every crime].
- Believes: The death penalty is no longer appropriate… ‘it seems to me absurd that the laws, which are an expression of the public will, which detest and punish homicide, should themselves commit it, and that to deter citizens from murder they order a public one’
- Believes: punishment should be public: ‘What is the political intention of punishments? To terrify and be an example to others. Is this intention answered by thus privately torturing the guilty and the innocent? It is doubtless of importance that no crime should remain unpunished; but it is useless to make a public example of the author of a crime hid in darkness.
- Death penality is no longer appropriate, but punishment should be public (to terrify & set an example)


What 3 strands does Beccaria look at?

- Looked at 3 strands:
o Certainty – likelihood the punishment will occur
o Serenity – how quickly punishment is given
o Severity – how much pain is inflicted



Everything from Jeremy Bentham onwards