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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 149563 Find in a Library
Title: Last Man To Hang in Scotland
Journal: Criminologist  Volume:18  Issue:1  Dated:(Spring 1994)  Pages:53-56
Author(s): A Mingay
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 4
Type: Biography
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This article traces the life, capital offense, defense, conviction, and execution of Henry John Burnett, the last person to be hanged in Scotland before the abolition of the death penalty.
Abstract: Burnett killed his girl friend's estranged husband, from whom she was planning to divorce, apparently because he feared a reconciliation. The issue that would determine whether or not Burnett would hang if convicted was the state of his mind at the time of the killing. Burnett's attorney used a special defense of insanity. Secondary to this, the defense argued that at the time of the killing Burnett was suffering from diminished responsibility. This defense could be presented at the end of the case without prior notice. The alternative presented by the prosecution was that Burnett was not suffering from any form of mental defect of such a nature as to bring him into either of these categories according to the law, but was a man of quick temper who was motivated at the time by jealousy and rage. The jury, by a majority, rejected both the special defense and the plea of diminished responsibility. Burnett did not appeal his sentence of death. His trial ended on July 25, 1963, and he was hanged on the morning of August 15, 1963.
Main Term(s): Corrections in foreign countries
Index Term(s): Capital punishment; Criminology; Foreign courts; Homicide; Scotland
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