The Penalty Is Death: U. S. Newspaper Coverage of Women's Executions
In 1872 Susan Eberhart was convicted of murder for helping her lover to kill his wife. The Atlanta Constitution ran a story about her hanging in Georgia that covered slightly more than four full columns of text. In an editorial sermon about her, the Constitution said that Miss Eberhart not only committed murder, but also committed adultery and "violated the sanctity of marriage." An 1890 article in the Elko Independent said of Elizabeth Potts, who was hanged for murder, "To her we look for everything that is gentle and kind and tender; and we can scarcely conceive her capable of committing the highest crime known to the law." Indeed, at the time, this attitude was also applied to women in general. By 1998 the press's and society's attitudes had changed dramatically. A columnist from Texas wrote that convicted murderess Karla Faye Tucker should not be spared just because she was a woman. The author went on to say that women could be just as violent and aggressive as men; the idea that women are defenseless and need men's protection "is probably the last vestige of institutionalized sexism that needs to be rubbed out."
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Jazz Journalism and the Execution Story As Drama
Excesses in 1920s Louisiana
Female Mass Murderers
Execution Stories As Serial Dramas
Hollywood Female Tough Guys and Love Triangles
Southern California Defendants
The Female Tough Guy
Little Attention for First Executions
Little Support for Changes to Execution Laws
Government Secrecy of Executions under Federal Authority
The Late 1990s and Beyond
Race Ethnicity and Sexual Preference
PreCivil War Press and Slave Executions
TwentiethCentury Black Defendants
The Irish More Animal Than Human?
Sexual Preference Changes during the Past Fifty Years
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Ada LeBoeuf Anna Hahn Applegate arrested asked attorney August Barbara Graham Barﬁeld Bilansky body Buenoano capital punishment cell Chicago Tribune Cincinnati Cincinnati Enquirer claimed clemency commute confession convicted County court courtroom coverage crime Daily day’s Dean death penalty death row death sentence December defendants described died Dispatch Dreher dress Druse Duncan Durgan Eberhart editorial electric chair Elko Nev Emeline execution story February ﬁrst ﬁrst woman ﬁve Frances Creighton Free Press front-page gallows gas chamber Gazette governor Graham Grinder guilty Hahn Hahn’s hanging headline Heady husband ibid Inquirer jail January July June jurors jury Karla Faye Tucker killed Knoblock later lethal injection Louise Peete March Mary Meaker Miller Morgan City mother murder newspaper November October ofﬁce ofﬁcers ofﬁcials Orleans Times-Picayune Peete Philadelphia Inquirer police Post-Dispatch Pottses prison reported reportedly saying Schroeder seemed Sheriff testiﬁed Times’s tion told trial Tucker Whiteling’s wife witness women York