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Wretched Sisters

Examining Gender and Capital Punishmend


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.
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Acknowledgments (2014)


I have additional thanks to offer as the second edition of Wretched Sisters is completed. Abby Smith and Hollie Fitzgerald assisted enthusiastically with research. Graduate students in several seminars on Capital Punishment asked interesting questions and helped to clarify the discussion of how gender impacts the administration of the death penalty. I will miss conversations about these issues with many wonderful students.

David has offered immeasurable support as well as the opportunity to spend some time in Texas, an excellent place to learn about capital punishment.

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