The CASS Inaugural Professorial Lecture Series celebrates and welcomes Professorial appointments to the ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences.
In this coming lecture, they will welcome our Professor Carolyn Strange from the ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences, School of History, RSSS where will be discussing
“Gender, Sex Murder, and the Death Penalty: Historical Insights and Contemporary Reverberations”
Through the #metoo movement, women have cracked open the carapace of denial over sexual abuse and violence committed by males. Historically, however, men in positions of power have policed, prosecuted and punished behaviour and acts deemed criminal. The preparedness of men to call fellow males to account for sexual violence has been most stark in the treatment of sex killers. But which men have been singled out for the criminal law’s harshest penalties?
In this talk I will discuss several high-profile sex murder cases in Canada, from the late-nineteenth century to the 1970s, when the death penalty remained on the books. Before the White Ribbon and ‘I Swear’ campaigns, status-bearing men condemned men to death for homicide, but they were especially inclined to do so in cases involving sexual violence. The cast of the executed – the poor and the inadequately defended, the mentally disabled and disturbed, and the ethnic and racial minorities subjected to the prejudices of Euro-Canadian society – emerged in response to moral outrage, the impulse that propelled and continues to inspire calls to reinstate the death penalty.