The Logic of Reform

David J. A. Cairns

in Advocacy and the Making of the Adversarial Criminal Trial 1800–1865

Published in print January 1999 | ISBN: 9780198262848
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682414 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Modern Legal History

The Logic of Reform

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During the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries a number of commentators doubted whether the capital felony process, as rationalized by Paley, was achieving its objective of the prevention of crime. This chapter first considers Samuel Romilly's depiction of the capital felony process and the logic of his proposed reform of punishments. It then explores the implications of this logic for other phases of the penal process, and concludes that the amelioration of capital punishment required a revision of criminal procedure, which the felony counsel restriction was unlikely to survive.

Keywords: capital felony; Samuel Romilly; penal process; punishment reforms; capital punishment; criminal procedure

Chapter.  5272 words. 

Subjects: History of Law

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