“The extreme penalty of the law”: mercy and the death penalty as aspects of state power in colonial Nyasaland, c. 1903–47

  title={“The extreme penalty of the law”: mercy and the death penalty as aspects of state power in colonial Nyasaland, c. 1903–47},
  author={Stacey Hynd},
  journal={Journal of Eastern African Studies},
  pages={542 - 559}
  • S. Hynd
  • Published 21 October 2010
  • History, Law
  • Journal of Eastern African Studies
Abstract Capital punishment was the pinnacle of the colonial judicial system and its use of state violence, but has previously been neglected as a topic of historical research in Africa. This article is based on the case files and legal records of over 800 capital trials – predominantly for murder – dating between 1900 and 1947. It outlines the functioning of the legal system in Nyasaland and the tensions between “violence” and “humanitarianism” in the use and reform of the death penalty… 
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