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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Criminal Justice Quote: Hanging Women Versus Burning Them at the Stake

     For many centuries in most of Europe through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, it was considered "immodest" to hang women--since, given the billowy nature of skirts…their legs if not more would visible from below the gallows.

     "For as the decency due to their sex forbids the exposing and publicly mangling of their bodies, their sentence is, to be drawn to the gallows and there to be burnt alive." So stated Blackstone Commentaries, England's authoritative early law book.

Richard Zacks, An Underground Education, 1997

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