The sad demise of z.D.H.38 Ernest Collins: suicide, informers and the debate on the abolition of flogging

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Abstract

In November 1934 a convict was found hanged in his cell. His final words reveal the fearful state of his mind on learning that his appeal against a sentence of flogging had been rejected. Historical records about his prison life offer insights into suicide and prison informers, subjects which have received little attention from historians. His activities as an informer exposed him and increased the weight of imprisonment for him. Although his death appears only as a statistic in the annual report of the prison commissioners, it rejuvenated campaigns for an enquiry into the use of corporal punishment. Ernest Collins has composed no more than a sentence in the history of flogging, that absence will be rectified by this article.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
JournalCultural & Social History
Early online date1 Feb 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Feb 2018

Keywords

  • Prison
  • suicide
  • informer
  • flogging
  • emotion label

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