Tag: Capital Punishment

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This Week on Dispatches: Louis Arthur Norton on Justice, Deterrence, and Revenge during the American Revolution

On this week’s Dispatches, host Brady Crytzer interviews emeritus professor of history and JAR contributor Louis Arthur Norton on the use of capital punishment and revenge killings as a penalty or deterrent for desertion, espionage, atrocities, or loyalty to one side or the other during the American Revolution. New episodes of Dispatches are available for free […]

by Editors
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Justice, Deterrence, and Fitful Revenge During the Revolutionary War

“War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it.”[1] The application of justice during the Revolutionary War deserves scrutiny. Historic records related to people condemned to death during this period reflect society’s norm for justice, deterrence, and often vengeance. Countless men on both sides of the conflict were executed for treachery, betrayal, or perfidy. Several examples […]

by Louis Arthur Norton
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The Most Extraordinary Murder

On July 2, 1778, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts hanged Bathsheba Ruggles Spooner and Continental soldier Ezra Ross, together with British soldiers Sgt. James Buchanan and Pvt. William Brooks. They had been convicted of the murder of Bathsheba’s husband, Joshua Spooner, in “the most extraordinary crime ever perpetrated in New England.”[1] The trial was the first […]

by Chaim M. Rosenberg