This research project attempted to make a beginning at establishing whether structural violence did in fact play a significant part in the upbringing and experiences of those on Pretoria's death row. The project sought to construct a profile of the condemned prisoner. In order to establish biographical details, relatives and friends of 26 people on death row in 1988 were interviewed. The project also attempted to assess the legal road people had travelled to death row. Records were examined of the trials in which 40 people (including the 26 in the first sample) were sentenced to death. The samples drawn on were small, but it was hoped that the project was nevertheless a useful initial venture into an unchartered territory.
Profile of a Death Row Prisoner
Jo-Ann Bekker is a former researcher for the Black Sash.