Chapter

The Forgotten Population: A Look at Death Row in the United States through the Experiences of Women

Capital Punishment Project, Women’s Rights Project, National Prison Project, National Criminal Justice Program, and the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women

in Interrupted Life

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780520252493
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520944565 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520252493.003.0061
The Forgotten Population: A Look at Death Row in the United States through the Experiences of Women

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Since 1973, 148 women have been sentenced to death in the United States. As of December 2004, there were 50 women on death row. According to a report entitled “The Forgotten Population,” women's experiences on death row mirror many of the problems that have been documented in the cases of men condemned to death, such as inadequate defense counsel, poverty, alcoholism, drug abuse, mental retardation, and mental illness. However, in addition to facing these problems, numerous women on Death Row have also suffered abuse and domestic violence. A particularly disturbing finding of the report is the degree to which many of these incarcerated women live in virtual isolation, which often leads to psychosis or exacerbates existing mental illnesses. “The Forgotten Population” makes thirteen recommendations to improve conditions for women living on death row and to ensure that women receive fair and adequate defense counsel when charged with capital offenses.

Keywords: The Forgotten Population; incarcerated women; death row; United States; abuse; domestic violence; capital offenses; psychosis; defense counsel

Chapter.  1118 words. 

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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