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Executions in The Bahamas

Author(s): Lofquist, William Steele

Journal: International Journal of Bahamian Studies
ISSN 2220-5772

Volume: 16;
Start page: 19;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Captial Punishment | History | Bahamas

The stories of those who have been executed in the Bahamas are heretofore untold. In telling these stories and in linking them to the changing course of Bahamian history, the present research adds an important dimension to our understanding of Bahamian history and politics. The major theme of this effort is that the changing practice of the death penalty is much more than a consequence of changes in crime. The use of the death penalty parallels the changing interests of colonial rulers, the changing practice of slavery, and the changing role of the Bahamas in colonial and regional affairs. Four distinctive eras of death penalty practice can be identified: (1) the slave era, where executions and commutations were used liberally and with a clear racial patterning; (2) a long era of stable colonialism, a period of marginalization and few executions; (3) an era of unstable colonialism characterized by intensive and efficient use of the death penalty; and (4) the current independence era of high murder rates and equally high impediments to the use of executions.
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