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Evolving Standards of Decency

Popular Culture and Capital Punishment

Mary Welek Atwell

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Equal Protection of the Law?

Gender and Justice in the United States

Mary Welek Atwell

This book, grounded in American women’s history, explores the ongoing process of taking gender into account in the U.S. justice system. Women came late to the making, applying, and enforcing of the law. How has the creation of the law by and for men affected women? How has increased participation of women in the justice system made a difference?
Equal Protection of the Law? Gender and Justice in the United States provides a readable account of the evolution of women’s constitutional status, as well as stories of their participation in the criminal justice system as workers, victims, and offenders. It focuses on how the experiences of prior generations can illuminate the continued challenges of gender and inequality.
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Wretched Sisters

Examining Gender and Capital Punishmend

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Mary Welek Atwell

Since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976, fourteen women have been put to death in the United States. The criminal justice system defines crimes committed by women in a particularly gendered context. Wretched Sisters is unique in its analysis of the legal and cultural circumstances that determine why a small number of women are sentenced to death and provides a detailed account of how these fourteen women came to be subjected to the ultimate punishment.