LEGACY OF VIOLENCE. Lynch Mobs and Executions in Minnesota

Author: Bessler (John D.)
Year: 2003
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
First Edition
Edition Details: 1st US edn.
Book Condition: F/F
ISBN: 9780816638109
Price: 20.00
Hardback. Minnesota is one of only 12 states that does not allow the death penalty, but that was not always the case. In fact until 1911 executions in th state were legal and frequently carried out. In this book the author takes the reader on a compelling journey through the history of lynchings and state-sanctioned executions that dramatically shaped Minnesota's past. Through personal accounts from the people involved with the events, the author traces the history of both famous and lesser-known executions and lynchings in Minnesota, the state's anti-death penalty and anti-lynching movements, and the role of the media in the death penalty debate. He reveals Abraham Lincoln's thoughts as he ordered the largest mass execution in US history of 38 Indians in Mankato after the Dakota Conflict of 1862. He recounts the events surrounding the death of Ann Bilansky, the only woman executed in Minnesota, and the infamous botched hanging of William Williams, which led to renewed calls for the abolition of capital punishment. He tells the story of the lynching in Duluth in 1920 of 3 African-American circus workers - wrongfully accused of rape - and the anti-lynching crusade that followed. Minnesota's significant role in the national transformation to private, after-dark executions is presented in the discussion of the "midnight assassination law." Besssler examines Minnesota history to ask whether the application of the death penalty can truly solve the problem of violence in America. From the library of true crime writer, Wilfred Gregg, with his personal b/plate. F. in dw.


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