NEW RESOURCE: "Legacy of Violence"

"Legacy of Violence: Lynch Mobs and Executions in Minnesota," a book by John D. Bessler (University of Minnesota Press, 2003), examines the history of illegal and state-sanctioned executions in Minnesota, one of twelve states that currently does not have the death penalty. The book is timely in that the current governor, Tim Pawlenty, has proposed reinstating the death penalty, which was abolished in 1911. The book includes detailed personal accounts from those who were involved in the events, as well as a history of Minnesota's anti-execution and anti-lynching movements, a review of historical wrongful convictions, and an analysis of the role that the media played in the death penalty debate. The author recounts the details of the largest mass execution in the U.S. of 38 Native Americans in Mankato in 1862 at the order of President Lincoln, and the brutal lynching in Duluth of 3 African-Americans accused of rape.

(University of Minnesota Press, 2003) See Resources.