George Vass: the making and un-making of a criminal monster

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Standard

George Vass : the making and un-making of a criminal monster. / Rutherford, Helen; Sandford- Couch, Clare.

Execution Culture in Nineteenth Century Britain: From Public Spectacle to Hidden Ritual. ed. / Patrick Low; Helen Rutherford; Clare Sandford Couch. New York : Routledge, 2020. (SOLON Explorations in Crime and Criminal Justice Histories).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Harvard

Rutherford, H & Sandford- Couch, C 2020, George Vass: the making and un-making of a criminal monster. in P Low, H Rutherford & C Sandford Couch (eds), Execution Culture in Nineteenth Century Britain: From Public Spectacle to Hidden Ritual. SOLON Explorations in Crime and Criminal Justice Histories, Routledge, New York. <https://www.routledge.com/9780367332457>

APA

Rutherford, H., & Sandford- Couch, C. (2020). George Vass: the making and un-making of a criminal monster. In P. Low, H. Rutherford, & C. Sandford Couch (Eds.), Execution Culture in Nineteenth Century Britain: From Public Spectacle to Hidden Ritual (SOLON Explorations in Crime and Criminal Justice Histories). Routledge. https://www.routledge.com/9780367332457

Vancouver

Rutherford H, Sandford- Couch C. George Vass: the making and un-making of a criminal monster. In Low P, Rutherford H, Sandford Couch C, editors, Execution Culture in Nineteenth Century Britain: From Public Spectacle to Hidden Ritual. New York: Routledge. 2020. (SOLON Explorations in Crime and Criminal Justice Histories).

Author

Rutherford, Helen ; Sandford- Couch, Clare. / George Vass : the making and un-making of a criminal monster. Execution Culture in Nineteenth Century Britain: From Public Spectacle to Hidden Ritual. editor / Patrick Low ; Helen Rutherford ; Clare Sandford Couch. New York : Routledge, 2020. (SOLON Explorations in Crime and Criminal Justice Histories).

Bibtex - Download

@inbook{edc7214af16a4f8f87ead084fea57f1a,
title = "George Vass: the making and un-making of a criminal monster",
abstract = "This chapter explores how emotion was used to construct and deconstruct a narrative around the living body of a criminal, George Vass, a murderer who was to be the last man hanged in public in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1863. During his trial and sentence, contemporary newspaper accounts focused on Vass{\textquoteright}s lack of emotional response, many describing Vass as without feeling, a bad character: a {\textquoteleft}monster{\textquoteright}, in effect. However, by the time of his execution, the press in Newcastle began to {\textquoteleft}humanize{\textquoteright} or {\textquoteleft}re-humanize{\textquoteright} him as an emotional being, describing Vass as a {\textquoteleft}wretched young man{\textquoteright}, nervous, caring, and making spiritual preparations for death. In considering, through a legal historical lens, the perception and attribution of emotion as mediated or constructed in contemporary newspaper accounts, the chapter contributes to the growing field of studies into law and emotion. It suggests that emotions were deliberately employed in the newspaper rhetoric, which was performative, constructing a narrative and shaping a criminal subject, presented to the public as {\textquoteleft}Vass{\textquoteright}. The chapter concludes that exploring the connection between a nineteenth-century criminal trial and its expected or perceived emotional effect upon the individual reveals the significant role of the reporting of emotion in reinforcing the norms of the criminal justice system.",
keywords = "Constructing criminal identity;, law, emotion, newspaper reporting, Victorian, execution, capital punishment, monster",
author = "Helen Rutherford and {Sandford- Couch}, Clare",
year = "2020",
month = sep,
day = "30",
language = "English",
isbn = "9780367332457",
series = "SOLON Explorations in Crime and Criminal Justice Histories",
publisher = "Routledge",
editor = "Patrick Low and Helen Rutherford and {Sandford Couch}, Clare",
booktitle = "Execution Culture in Nineteenth Century Britain",
address = "United States",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) - Download

TY - CHAP

T1 - George Vass

T2 - the making and un-making of a criminal monster

AU - Rutherford, Helen

AU - Sandford- Couch, Clare

PY - 2020/9/30

Y1 - 2020/9/30

N2 - This chapter explores how emotion was used to construct and deconstruct a narrative around the living body of a criminal, George Vass, a murderer who was to be the last man hanged in public in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1863. During his trial and sentence, contemporary newspaper accounts focused on Vass’s lack of emotional response, many describing Vass as without feeling, a bad character: a ‘monster’, in effect. However, by the time of his execution, the press in Newcastle began to ‘humanize’ or ‘re-humanize’ him as an emotional being, describing Vass as a ‘wretched young man’, nervous, caring, and making spiritual preparations for death. In considering, through a legal historical lens, the perception and attribution of emotion as mediated or constructed in contemporary newspaper accounts, the chapter contributes to the growing field of studies into law and emotion. It suggests that emotions were deliberately employed in the newspaper rhetoric, which was performative, constructing a narrative and shaping a criminal subject, presented to the public as ‘Vass’. The chapter concludes that exploring the connection between a nineteenth-century criminal trial and its expected or perceived emotional effect upon the individual reveals the significant role of the reporting of emotion in reinforcing the norms of the criminal justice system.

AB - This chapter explores how emotion was used to construct and deconstruct a narrative around the living body of a criminal, George Vass, a murderer who was to be the last man hanged in public in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1863. During his trial and sentence, contemporary newspaper accounts focused on Vass’s lack of emotional response, many describing Vass as without feeling, a bad character: a ‘monster’, in effect. However, by the time of his execution, the press in Newcastle began to ‘humanize’ or ‘re-humanize’ him as an emotional being, describing Vass as a ‘wretched young man’, nervous, caring, and making spiritual preparations for death. In considering, through a legal historical lens, the perception and attribution of emotion as mediated or constructed in contemporary newspaper accounts, the chapter contributes to the growing field of studies into law and emotion. It suggests that emotions were deliberately employed in the newspaper rhetoric, which was performative, constructing a narrative and shaping a criminal subject, presented to the public as ‘Vass’. The chapter concludes that exploring the connection between a nineteenth-century criminal trial and its expected or perceived emotional effect upon the individual reveals the significant role of the reporting of emotion in reinforcing the norms of the criminal justice system.

KW - Constructing criminal identity;

KW - law

KW - emotion

KW - newspaper reporting

KW - Victorian

KW - execution

KW - capital punishment

KW - monster

M3 - Chapter

SN - 9780367332457

T3 - SOLON Explorations in Crime and Criminal Justice Histories

BT - Execution Culture in Nineteenth Century Britain

A2 - Low, Patrick

A2 - Rutherford, Helen

A2 - Sandford Couch, Clare

PB - Routledge

CY - New York

ER -