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From the Publisher
"Using a small but rich data set to write about an obscure research topic, former New York police detective and federal DEA agent Gado provides insight into contemporary practices associated with punishment, media, and the way social institutions interact to justify capital punishment. He discusses in detail the stories of six women executed in New York's Sing Sing prison. Media accounts from the era in which these women were accused, tried, and eventually executed lead readers to question the media's true intent. Referring to headlines, selective facts, colorful nicknames, and wild exaggerations, Gado describes how these women, their crimes, and the state response were socially constructed. Media contributions offered in a competitive environment are contrasted with police reports, court transcripts, prison files, letters written by the condemned, photographs, and eyewitness accounts. Although Gado gives preference to this evidence, the media's role cannot be discounted. He raises gender issues when contrasting stories about the demonization of these women with the routine coverage of condemned men. Without providing answers, Gado's text highlights moral inconsistencies that many continue to confront when examining capital punishment. Highly recommended. General, undergraduate, and graduate collections"
"Mark Gado shows that the media's obsession with women who murder has a long history. A New York police detective for twenty-five years and a DEA agent from 1999 to 2001, as well as the author of two other books, he writes about crime and the criminal justice system for truTV (previously Court TV) Crime Library….The book is an enjoyable read, and the chapters on the individual cases are particularly well constructed. Gado demonstrates that historical tales can be interesting when there is an abundance of detail."
"…the rich source material Gado compiles makes Death Row Women a compelling read and a useful tool in the undergraduate classroom."
Journal of Social History