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Discretionary JusticePardon and Parole in New York from the Revolution to the Depression$
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Carolyn Strange

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781479899920

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479899920.001.0001

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Pardon and Parole in the Empire State

Pardon and Parole in the Empire State

(p.1) Introduction Pardon and Parole in the Empire State
Discretionary Justice

Carolyn Strange

NYU Press

Historians influenced by Foucault’s reading of the transition from sovereign justice to disciplinary society have misread parole as the successor to executive mercy. This book shows that parole’s history stretches back to the Revolutionary era, and that the power of life and death remained in the chief executive’s hands in the twentieth century. Despite the building of penitentiaries, the ascendance of Progressive penology, the establishment of reformatories and the rise of medical and psychiatric expertise, pardoning continued to play a pivotal role in the discretionary release of prisoners. The chapters, arranged chronologically, trace the entanglement of pardoning and parole as closely related forms of discretionary justice, which have played a central yet neglected part in the development of penal modernity.

Keywords:   mercy, pardon, parole, discretionary justice, Foucault, New York

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