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Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Hanging Pregnant Women

It is not very long ago [cir 1960] since it was alleged in Parliament [England] that pregnant women were carefully nursed in prison until the time when, after giving birth to the child...they could be handed over to the hangman. We now live in a more sentimental age, and, although this is still permissible by law, it is simply not done. It will be obvious even to the most innocent reader that not to hang pregnant women may be one way of encouraging sexual misconduct as a means to escape the gallows. Is it not ridiculous and immoral that a woman who has committed murder should escape the death penalty by amusing herself with the first man she meets? There is on record the case of a pregnant woman who procured an abortion, and after the event was arrested on a murder charge. She was found guilty and duly hanged; had she not procured the abortion, she would be alive today.

Charles Duff, A Handbook on Hanging, a 2001 reprint of the original 1961 satire.

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