Rewriting History: the Use of Feminist Narrative to Deconstruct the Myth of the Capital Defendant

By Francine Banner / New York University (NYU), on 1 January 2000

In the past thirty years, American attitudes towards those convicted of crimes have followed a devastating progression toward the dehumanization of criminal defendants. The evolution of law and policy has mirrored these changing attitudes. The philosophies behind incarceration have shifted from “facilitat[ing inmates’] productive re-entry back into the free world” to “using imprisonment merely to punish criminal offenders by … “containing’ them behind bars … for as long as possible.” 4 Rather than preventing crime or rehabilitating offenders, incarceration has become a means to satisfy society’s desire for vengeance and retribution. Responding to this push to punish, prosecutors in their haste to obtain a conviction are more likely to stress the heinousness of crimes rather than questioning the circumstances surrounding …

  • Document type Article
  • Countries list United States
  • Themes list Networks,