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Against the Death PenaltyWritings from the First Abolitionists-Giuseppe Pelli and Cesare Beccaria$
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Giuseppe Pelli

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691209883

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691209883.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 28 May 2022



(p.3) Introduction
Against the Death Penalty

Giuseppe Pelli

Princeton University Press

This introductory chapter explores the two large collections of documents acquired from the archives of the Pelli-Fabbroni family in 1968–1969: the draft of an unfinished dissertation Against the Death Penalty and its first edition, produced by Philippe Audegean, with a substantial introduction to the text and its contents, in Italian and in French. It discusses Giuseppe Bencivenni Pelli's (1729–1808) career within the Austrian Habsburg administration in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, his most prominent post, and the one that gave him the greatest satisfaction: the director of the Uffizi Gallery. This chapter discusses Pelli's first systematic attack on the death penalty in history. It also highlights the enormous diary that he compiled, Efemeridi, over almost half a century, from 1759. The chapter then takes a look at another member of the minor nobility, but of Milan, who worked for the Austrian administration in Lombardy, Cesare Beccaria Bonesana (1738–94). It investigates Bonesana's publication of On Crimes and Punishments in July 1764. Before the discovery of Pelli's work, it was assumed that Beccaria's work contained the first serious attack on the death penalty. Pelli targeted the death penalty exclusively, whereas Beccaria's work was an attack on the whole system of criminal law operating in his time.

Keywords:   Giuseppe Bencivenni Pelli, Against the Death Penalty, Philippe Audegean, Austrian Habsburg, Uffizi Gallery, death penalty, Efemeridi, Cesare Beccaria Bonesana, On Crimes and Punishments, criminal law

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