Breaking bodies into pieces: Time, torture and bio-power

Cary Federman, Dave Holmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This article is an attempt to comprehend the bureaucratic phenomenon of the deathwatch, the last 24 hours of a prisoner's life, stressing the theoretical applications scholars can make to the study of docile bodies on death row. Because years of work are necessary to obtain obedience from condemned inmates, health care professionals lend more than an aura of legitimacy to the capital punishment process. As an integral part of the prison and capital punishment, they provide stability, reliability, and the means to achieve the goals of peaceful executions. The ultimate objective of utilizing health care professionals is the sanitization of penal practice and penal language to effect the complete absence of resistance from the condemned.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-345
Number of pages19
JournalCritical Criminology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 2005


Dive into the research topics of 'Breaking bodies into pieces: Time, torture and bio-power'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this