GUTS AND PITY The Hanging that ended Capital Punishment in Australia

Author: Dickins (Barry)
Year: 1996
Publisher: Currency Press
Edition Details: 1st Australian Edn.
Book Condition: F.
ISBN: 9780868194240
Price: 15.00
Softcover. On Friday, February 3 1967, in Melbourne, the temperature was 83 degrees Fahrenheit at 8am, rising to a top of 98 degrees at two that afternoon. That same day at 8am Ronald Joseph Ryan was hanged at Pentridge Prison. The night before the execution a force of 250 police, many of them with alsation dogs, was on duty to control a tense but passive crowd of about 800 outside Pentridge. Following the hanging about 100,000 workers throughout Victoria stopped work for two minutes of silence - work on the Melbourne waterfront came to a standstill. The execution had become a last-ditch battle between the old-style Premier, Sir Henry Bolte, and Australia's intelligentsia. The Premier won. But the hanging hardened public opinion against capital punishment and Ryan was the last felon to die at the hands of the State. His death was a punctuation mark in Australian history: a time when Australians confronted by the chilly impact of their own brutality, finally unburdened themselves of that convict inheritance and the gloom of the gallows. The author evokes Ryan the man, the drama of his story and the historical background to the execution, with a collection of anecdote and ephemera: recollections by people connected with Ryan's escape, arrest, detention and appeal, as well as supporters and opponents of capital punishment. Illus. with many photos and press cuttings from the time. With Appendices and Notes. 100pp. 8vo. softcover. From the library of true crime writer, Wilfred Gregg, with his personal b/plate. F. with no creasing to covers.


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