Friday, July 13, 2007

On July 13, ...

... 1955, as 500 protesters sang and chanted outside Holloway Prison in London, Ruth Ellis was executed on the gallows, having been convicted of the Easter Sunday shooting-to-death of her racecar-driver boyfriend outside a pub. Fully 48 years later a review commission would reject her family's contention that Ellis (right), who'd miscarried after the boyfriend punched her, suffered from "'battered woman syndrome.'" Nonetheless, the notoriety of this final execution of a woman in Britain contributed to the country's 1965 suspension and 1970 abolition of capital punishment.
... 1927 (80 years ago today), Simone Veil (left) was born in Nice, France. A survivor of Auschwitz, Veil was a member of France's Conseil constitutionnel from 1998 until March of this year, and also has served as French Minister of Health (1974-79, during which time she led a successful campaign for the legalization of abortion) and President of the European Parliament (1979-82).

1 comment:

Diane Marie Amann said...

On capital punishment and women in the United States, see Victor L. Streib, The Fairer Death: Executing Women in Ohio (University of Ohio Press, 2006).