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Women and the Death Penalty

About This Series

While women aren't often sentenced to death in the United States, the paths women have traveled to death row have been laden with abuse and appeals to gender and racial stereotypes that illuminate the broader failures of the criminal legal system. This series examines the stories of executed women and those on death row, and how they fit into the push to abolish the death penalty within a system laden with errors, inequities, and injustice.

Tamar Sarai Davis
A majority of the women sentenced to capital punishment have experienced ongoing abuse since childhood.
Defendants can be presented as hypersexual, bad mothers and bad wives, or hypermasculine.

On the path to death row, Black women confront inequity and stereotypes at the intersection of race and gender.
Women on death row face solitude, sexual violence, and more, often after lives already marked by trauma.

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