Inger L. Stole examines how consumer activists sought to limit corporate influence by rallying popular support to moderate and change advertising. Stole weaves the story through the extensive use of primary sources, including archival research done with consumer and trade group records, as well as trade journals and engagement with the existing literature. Her account of the struggle also demonstrates how public relations developed in order to justify laissez-faire corporate advertising in light of a growing consumer rights movement, and how the failure to rein in advertising was significant not just for civic life in the 1930s but for our era as well.
Agent Orange on Trial is a riveting legal drama with all the suspense of a courtroom thriller. One of the Vietnam War’s farthest reaching legacies was the Agent Orange case. In this unprecedented personal injury class action, veterans charge that a valuable herbicide, indiscriminately sprayed on the luxuriant Vietnam jungle a generation ago, has now caused cancers, birth defects, and other devastating health problems. Peter Schuck brilliantly recounts the gigantic confrontation between two million ex-soldiers, the chemical industry, and the federal government. From the first stirrings of the lawyers in 1978 to the court plan in 1985 for distributing a record $200 million settlement, the case, which is now on appeal, has extended the frontiers of our legal system in all directions.
In a book that is as much about innovative ways to look at the law as it is about the social problems arising from modern science, Schuck restages a sprawling, complex drama. The players include dedicated but quarrelsome veterans, a crusading litigator, class action organizers, flamboyant trial lawyers, astute court negotiators, and two federal judges with strikingly different judicial styles. High idealism, self-promotion, Byzantine legal strategies, and judicial creativity combine in a fascinating portrait of a human struggle for justice through law.
The Agent Orange case is the most perplexing and revealing example until now of a new legal genre: the mass toxic tort. Such cases, because of their scale, cost, geographical and temporal dispersion, and causal uncertainty, present extraordinarily difficult challenges to our legal system. They demand new approaches to procedure, evidence, and the definition of substantive legal rights and obligations, as well as new roles for judges, juries, and regulatory agencies. Schuck argues that our legal system must be redesigned if it is to deal effectively with the increasing number of chemical disasters such as the Bhopal accident, ionizing radiation, asbestos, DES, and seepage of toxic wastes. He imaginatively reveals the clash between our desire for simple justice and the technical demands of a complex legal system.
Women of all colors have shaped families, communities, institutions, and societies throughout history, but only in recent decades have their contributions been widely recognized, described, and celebrated. This book presents the first comprehensive history of black Texas women, a previously neglected group whose 150 years of continued struggle and some successes against the oppression of racism and sexism deserve to be better known and understood.
Beginning with slave and free women of color during the Texas colonial period and concluding with contemporary women who serve in the Texas legislature and the United States Congress, Ruthe Winegarten organizes her history both chronologically and topically. Her narrative sparkles with the life stories of individual women and their contributions to the work force, education, religion, the club movement, community building, politics, civil rights, and culture. The product of extensive archival and oral research and illustrated with over 200 photographs, this groundbreaking work will be equally appealing to general readers and to scholars of women's history, black history, American studies, and Texas history.
At the turn of the twentieth century, Cadbury Bros. Ltd. was a successful, Quaker-owned chocolate manufacturer in Birmingham, England, celebrated for its model village, modern factory, and concern for employees. In 1901 the firm learned that its cocoa beans, purchased from Portuguese plantations on the island of São Tomé off West Africa, were produced by slave labor.
Chocolate on Trial: Slavery, Politics, and the Ethics of Business is a lively and highly readable account of the events surrounding the libel trial in which Cadbury Bros. sued the London Standard over the newspaper’s accusation that the firm was hypocritical in its use of slave-grown cocoa. Lowell J. Satre probes issues as compelling now as they were a century ago: globalization, corporate social responsibility, journalistic sensationalism, and devious diplomacy.
Satre illuminates the stubborn persistence of the institution of slavery and shows how Cadbury, a company with a well-regarded brand name from the nineteenth century, faced ethical dilemmas and challenges to its record for social responsibility. Chocolate on Trial brings to life the age-old conflict between economic interests and regard for the dignity of human life.
Cold Warriors: Manliness on Trial in the Rhetoric of the West returns to familiar cultural forces—the West, anticommunism, and manliness—to show how they combined to suppress dissent and dominate the unruliness of literature in the name of a national identity after World War II. Few realize how much the domination of a “white male” American literary canon was a product not of long history, but of the Cold War. Suzanne Clark describes here how the Cold War excluded women writers on several levels, together with others—African American, Native American, poor, men as well as women—who were ignored in the struggle over white male identity.
Clark first shows how defining national/individual/American identity in the Cold War involved a brand new configuration of cultural history. At the same time, it called upon the nostalgia for the old discourses of the West (the national manliness asserted by Theodore Roosevelt) to claim that there was and always had been only one real American identity.
By subverting the claims of a national identity, Clark finds, many male writers risked falling outside the boundaries not only of public rhetoric but also of the literary world: men as different from one another as the determinedly masculine Ernest Hemingway and the antiheroic storyteller of the everyday, Bernard Malamud. Equally vocal and contentious, Cold War women writers were unwilling to be silenced, as Clark demonstrates in her discussion of the work of Mari Sandoz and Ursula Le Guin.
The book concludes with a discussion of how the silencing of gender, race, and class in Cold War writing maintained its discipline until the eruptions of the sixties. By questioning the identity politics of manliness in the Cold War context of persecution and trial, Clark finds that the involvement of men in identity politics set the stage for our subsequent cultural history.
The first author to address the impact of geopolitics on the courts’ representation of Nazi euthanasia, Bryant argues that international power relationships wreaked havoc on the prosecutions.
Drawing on primary sources, this provocative investigation of the Nazi campaign against the mentally ill and the postwar quest for justice will interest general readers and provide critical information for scholars of Holocaust studies, legal history, and human rights. Support for this publication was generously provided by the Eugene M. Kayden Fund at the University of Colorado.
The transcript from this historic trial, long thought destroyed or hidden, unearths a piece of the British colonial archive at a critical point in the Mau Mau Rebellion. Its discovery and landmark publication unsettles an already contentious Kenyan history and its reverberations in the postcolonial present.
Perhaps no figure embodied the ambiguities, colonial fears, and collective imaginations of Kenya’s decolonization era more than Dedan Kimathi, the self-proclaimed field marshal of the rebel forces that took to the forests to fight colonial rule in the 1950s. Kimathi personified many of the contradictions that the Mau Mau Rebellion represented: rebel statesman, literate peasant, modern traditionalist. His capture and trial in 1956, and subsequent execution, for many marked the end of the rebellion and turned Kimathi into a patriotic martyr.
Here, the entire trial transcript is available for the first time. This critical edition also includes provocative contributions from leading Mau Mau scholars reflecting on the meaning of the rich documents offered here and the figure of Kimathi in a much wider field of historical and contemporary concerns. These include the nature of colonial justice; the moral arguments over rebellion, nationalism, and the end of empire; and the complexities of memory and memorialization in contemporary Kenya.
Contributors: David Anderson, Simon Gikandi, Nicholas Githuku, Lotte Hughes, and John Lonsdale. Introductory note by Willy Mutunga.
John Henry Faulk was a popular radio and television personality during the McCarthy era. He was host of his own radio program on WCBS in New York when he publicly challenged AWARE, Inc., an ultrapatriotic group engaged in the systematic blacklisting of entertainment personalities. In response, an AWARE bulletin accused Faulk himself of subversive associations. Angry and frightened by this accusation, Faulk brought suit against AWARE, charging conspiracy to libel him and to destroy his career. Thus began one of the great civil rights cases of the twentieth century.
John Henry Faulk recounts the story of this harrowing time in Fear on Trial, the dramatic account of his six years on the "blacklist"—an exile that began with the AWARE bulletin and ended with his vindication by a jury award of $3,500,000—the largest libel award in U.S. history at that time. The heart of the book is the trial of Faulk's libel action against AWARE, in which attorney Louis Nizer relentlessly exposed the blacklist for what it was—a cynical disdain of elementary decency couched in the rhetoric of patriotism.
Many of the people involved in the Faulk case were and are famous: attorneys Nizer and Roy Cohn; Edward R. Murrow and Charles Collingwood; Myrna Loy, Kim Hunter, Tony Randall, and Lee Grant; J. Frank Dobie; Ed Sullivan, David Susskind, and Mark Goodson. But the hero is Faulk himself, a man who—in the words of Studs Terkel—"faced the bastards and beat them down."
Sixty years ago political divisions in the United States ran even deeper than today's name-calling showdowns between the left and right. Back then, to call someone a communist was to threaten that person's career, family, freedom, and, sometimes, life itself. Hysteria about the "red menace" mushroomed as the Soviet Union tightened its grip on Eastern Europe, Mao Zedong rose to power in China, and the atomic arms race accelerated. Spy scandals fanned the flames, and headlines warned of sleeper cells in the nation's midst--just as it does today with the "War on Terror."
In his new book, The Fear Within, Scott Martelle takes dramatic aim at one pivotal moment of that era. On the afternoon of July 20, 1948, FBI agents began rounding up twelve men in New York City, Chicago, and Detroit whom the U.S. government believed posed a grave threat to the nation--the leadership of the Communist Party-USA. After a series of delays, eleven of the twelve "top Reds" went on trial in Manhattan's Foley Square in January 1949.
The proceedings captivated the nation, but the trial quickly dissolved into farce. The eleven defendants were charged under the 1940 Smith Act with conspiring to teach the necessity of overthrowing the U.S. government based on their roles as party leaders and their distribution of books and pamphlets. In essence, they were on trial for their libraries and political beliefs, not for overt acts threatening national security. Despite the clear conflict with the First Amendment, the men were convicted and their appeals denied by the U.S. Supreme Court in a decision that gave the green light to federal persecution of Communist Party leaders--a decision the court effectively reversed six years later. But by then, the damage was done. So rancorous was the trial the presiding judge sentenced the defense attorneys to prison terms, too, chilling future defendants' access to qualified counsel.
Martelle's story is a compelling look at how American society, both general and political, reacts to stress and, incongruously, clamps down in times of crisis on the very beliefs it holds dear: the freedoms of speech and political belief. At different points in our history, the executive branch, Congress, and the courts have subtly or more drastically eroded a pillar of American society for the politics of the moment. It is not surprising, then, that The Fear Within takes on added resonance in today's environment of suspicion and the decline of civil rights under the U.S. Patriot Act.
As real women increasingly entered the professions from the 1970s onward, their cinematic counterparts followed suit. Women lawyers, in particular, were the protagonists of many Hollywood films of the Reagan-Bush era, serving as a kind of shorthand reference any time a script needed a powerful career woman. Yet a close viewing of these films reveals contradictions and anxieties that belie the films' apparent acceptance of women's professional roles. In film after film, the woman lawyer herself effectively ends up "on trial" for violating norms of femininity and patriarchal authority.
In this book, Cynthia Lucia offers a sustained analysis of women lawyer films as a genre and as a site where other genres including film noir, maternal melodrama, thrillers, action romance, and romantic comedy intersect. She traces Hollywood representations of female lawyers through close readings of films from the 1949 Adam's Rib through films of the 1980s and 1990s, including Jagged Edge, The Accused, and The Client, among others. She also examines several key male lawyer films and two independent films, Lizzie Borden's Love Crimes and Susan Streitfeld's Female Perversions. Lucia convincingly demonstrates that making movies about women lawyers and the law provides unusually fertile ground for exploring patriarchy in crisis. This, she argues, is the cultural stimulus that prompts filmmakers to create stories about powerful women that simultaneously question and undermine women's right to wield authority.
For three weeks in July 1945 all eyes were fixed on a humid Paris, where France’s disgraced former head of state was on trial, accused of masterminding a plot to overthrow democracy. Would Philippe Pétain, hero of Verdun, be condemned as the traitor of Vichy?
In the terrible month of October 1940, few things were more shocking than the sight of Marshal Philippe Pétain—supremely decorated hero of the First World War, now head of the French government—shaking hands with Hitler. Pausing to look at the cameras, Pétain announced that France would henceforth collaborate with Germany. “This is my policy,” he intoned. “My ministers are responsible to me. It is I alone who will be judged by History.”
Five years later, in July 1945, after a wave of violent reprisals following the liberation of Paris, Pétain was put on trial for his conduct during the war. He stood accused of treason, charged with heading a conspiracy to destroy France’s democratic government and collaborating with Nazi Germany. The defense claimed he had sacrificed his personal honor to save France and insisted he had shielded the French people from the full scope of Nazi repression. Former resisters called for the death penalty, but many identified with this conservative military hero who had promised peace with dignity.
The award-winning author of a landmark biography of Charles de Gaulle, Julian Jackson uses Pétain’s three-week trial as a lens through which to examine one of history’s great moral dilemmas. Was the policy of collaboration “four years to erase from our history,” as the prosecution claimed? Or was it, as conservative politicians insist to this day, a sacrifice that placed pragmatism above moral purity? As head of the Vichy regime, Pétain became the lightning rod for collective guilt and retribution. But he has also been an icon of the nationalist right ever since. In France on Trial, Jackson blends courtroom drama, political intrigue, and brilliant narrative history to highlight the hard choices and moral compromises leaders make in times of war.
Describes landmark free speech decisions of the Supreme Court while highlighting the issues of language, rhetoric, and communication that underlie them.
At the intersection of communication and First Amendment law reside two significant questions: What is the speech we ought to protect, and why should we protect it? The 20 scholars of legal communication whose essays are gathered in this volume propose various answers to these questions, but their essays share an abiding concern with a constitutional guarantee of free speech and its symbiotic relationship with communication practices.
Free Speech on Trial fills a gap between textbooks that summarize First Amendment law and books that analyze case law and legal theory. These essays explore questions regarding the significance of unregulated speech in a marketplace of goods and ideas, the limits of offensive language and obscenity as expression, the power of symbols, and consequences of restraint prior to publication versus the subsequent punishment of sources. As one example, Craig Smith cites Buckley vs. Valeo to examine how the context of corruption in the 1974 elections shaped the Court's view of the constitutionality of campaign contributions and expenditures.
Collectively, the essays in this volume suggest that the life of free speech law is communication. The contributors reveal how the Court's free speech opinions constitute discursive performances that fashion, deconstruct, and reformulate the contours and parameters of the Constitution’s guarantee of free expression and that, ultimately, reconstitute our government, our culture, and our society.
During the tumultuous decade before the Civil War, no issue was more divisive than the pursuit and return of fugitive slaves—a practice enforced under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. When free Blacks and their abolitionist allies intervened, prosecutions and trials inevitably followed. These cases involved high legal, political, and—most of all—human drama, with runaways desperate for freedom, their defenders seeking recourse to a “higher law” and normally fair-minded judges (even some opposed to slavery) considering the disposition of human beings as property.
Fugitive Justice tells the stories of three of the most dramatic fugitive slave trials of the 1850s, bringing to vivid life the determination of the fugitives, the radical tactics of their rescuers, the brutal doggedness of the slavehunters, and the tortuous response of the federal courts. These cases underscore the crucial role that runaway slaves played in building the tensions that led to the Civil War, and they show us how “civil disobedience” developed as a legal defense. As they unfold we can also see how such trials—whether of rescuers or of the slaves themselves—helped build the northern anti-slavery movement, even as they pushed southern firebrands closer to secession.
How could something so evil be treated so routinely by just men? The answer says much about how deeply the institution of slavery had penetrated American life even in free states. Fugitive Justice powerfully illuminates this painful episode in American history, and its role in the nation’s inexorable march to war.
John Hagedorn, who has long been an expert witness in gang-related court cases, claims that what transpires in the trials of gang members is a far cry from what we would consider justice. In Gangs on Trial, he recounts his decades of experience to show how stereotypes are used against gang members on trial and why that is harmful. Hagedorn uses real-life stories to explain how implicit bias often replaces evidence and how the demonization of gang members undermines fairness. Moreover, a “them and us” mentality leads to snap judgments that ignore the complexity of gang life in America.
Gangs on Trial dispels myths about gangs and recommends tactics for lawyers, mitigation specialists, and expert witnesses as well as offering insights for jurors. Hagedorn describes how minds are subconsciously “primed” when a defendant is identified as a gang member, and discusses the “backfire effect,” which occurs when jurors hear arguments that run counter to their beliefs. He also reveals how attributional errors, prejudice, and racism impact sentences of nonwhite defendants.
Hagedorn argues that dehumanization is the psychological foundation of mass incarceration. Gangs on Trial advocates for practical sentencing reforms and humanizing justice.
One day in 2002, three friends—a Somali immigrant, a Pakistan–born U.S. citizen, and a hometown African American—met in a Columbus, Ohio coffee shop and vented over civilian casualties in the war in Afghanistan. Their conversation triggered an investigation that would become one of the most unusual and far–reaching government probes into terrorism since the 9/11 attacks.
Over several years, prosecutors charged each man with unrelated terrorist activities in cases that embodied the Bush administration’s approach to fighting terrorism at home.
Government lawyers spoke of catastrophes averted; defense attorneys countered that none of the three had done anything but talk. The stories of these homegrown terrorists illustrate the paradox the government faces after September 11: how to fairly wage a war against alleged enemies living in our midst.
Hatred at Home is a true crime drama that will spark debate from all political corners about safety, civil liberties, free speech, and the government’s war at home.
An authoritative reassessment of one of the Third Reich’s most notorious war criminals, whose alleged sexual barbarism made her a convenient scapegoat and obscured the true nature of Nazi terror.
On September 1, 1967, one of the Third Reich’s most infamous figures hanged herself in her cell after nearly twenty-four years in prison. Known as the “Bitch of Buchenwald,” Ilse Koch was singularly notorious, having been accused of owning lampshades fabricated from skins of murdered camp inmates and engaging in “bestial” sexual behavior. These allegations fueled a public fascination that turned Koch into a household name and the foremost symbol of Nazi savagery. Her subsequent prosecution resulted in a scandal that prompted US Senate hearings and even the intervention of President Truman.
Yet the most sensational atrocities attributed to Koch were apocryphal or unproven. In this authoritative reappraisal, Tomaz Jardim shows that, while Koch was guilty of heinous crimes, she also became a scapegoat for postwar Germans eager to distance themselves from the Nazi past. The popular condemnation of Koch—and the particularly perverse crimes attributed to her by prosecutors, the media, and the public at large—diverted attention from the far more consequential but less sensational complicity of millions of ordinary Germans in the Third Reich’s crimes.
Ilse Koch on Trial reveals how gendered perceptions of violence and culpability drove Koch’s zealous prosecution at a time when male Nazi perpetrators responsible for greater crimes often escaped punishment or received lighter sentences. Both in the international press and during her three criminal trials, Koch was condemned for her violation of accepted gender norms and “good womanly behavior.” Koch’s “sexual barbarism,” though treated as an emblem of the Third Reich’s depravity, ultimately obscured the bureaucratized terror of the Nazi state and hampered understanding of the Holocaust.
This comprehensive treatment of post–World War II Allied war crimes trials in the Far East is a significant contribution to a neglected subject. While the Nuremberg and, to a lesser degree, Tokyo tribunals have received considerable attention, this is the first full-length assessment of the entire Far East operation, which involved some 5,700 accused and 2,200 trials.
After discussing the Tokyo trial, Piccigallo systematically examines the operations of each Allied nation, documenting procedure and machinery as well as the details of actual trials (including hitherto unpublished photographs) and ending with a statistical summary of cases.
This study allows a completely new assessment of the Far East proceedings: with a few exceptions, the trials were carefully and fairly conducted, the efforts of defense counsel and the elaborate review procedures being especially noteworthy. Piccigallo’s approach to this emotion-filled subject is straightforward and evenhanded throughout. He concludes with a discussion of the broader implications of such war crimes trials, a matter of interest to the general reader as well as to specialists in history, law, and international affairs.
Janice Schuetz investigates the felony trials of nine American women from colonial Salem to the present: Rebecca Nurse, tried for witchcraft in 1692; Mary E. Surratt, tried in 1865 for assisting John Wilkes Booth in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln; Lizzie Andrew Borden, tried in 1892 for the ax murder of her father and stepmother; Margaret Sanger, tried in 1915, 1917, and 1929 for her actions in support of birth control; Ethel Rosenberg, tried in 1951 for aiding the disclosure of secrets of the atom bomb to the Soviets; Yvonne Wanrow, tried in 1974 for killing a man who molested her neighbor’s daughter; Patricia Campbell Hearst, tried in 1975 for bank robbery as a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army; Jean Harris, tried in 1982 for killing Herman Tarnower, the Diet Doctor; and Darci Kayleen Pierce, tried in 1988 for kidnapping and brutally murdering a pregnant woman, then removing the baby from the woman’s womb.
In her analysis, Schuetz is careful to define these trials as popular trials. Characteristically, popular trials involve persons, issues, or crimes of social interest that attract extensive public interest and involvement. Such trials make a contribution to the ongoing historical dialogue about the meaning of justice and the legal system, while reflecting the values of the time and place in which they occur.
Schuetz examines the kinds of communication that transpired and the importance of gender in the trials by applying a different current rhetorical theory to each trial text. In every chapter, she explains her chosen interpretive theory, compares that framework with the discourse of the trial, and makes judgments about the meaning of the trial texts based on the interpretive theory.
Medical malpractice has been at the center of recurring tort crises for the last quarter-century. In 1960, expenditures on medical liability insurance in the United States amounted to about $60 million. In 1988, the figure topped $7 billion. Physicians have responded not simply with expensive methods of "defensive medicine" but also with successful pressure upon state legislatures to cut back on the tort rights of seriously injured patients. Various reforms have been proposed to deal with the successive crises, but so far none have proved to be effective and fair.
In this landmark book, Paul Weiler argues for a two-part approach to the medical malpractice crisis. First, he proposes a thorough revision of the current tort liability regime, which would concentrate available resources on meeting actual financial losses of seriously injured victims. It would also shift the focus of tort liability from the individual doctor to the hospital or other health care organization. This would elicit more effective quality assurance programs from the institutions that are in the best position to reduce our current unacceptable rate of physician-induced injuries.
But in states such as New York, Florida, and Illinois, where the current situation seems to have gone beyond the help of even drastic tort reform, the preferred solution is a no-fault system. Weiler shows how such a system would provide more equitable compensation, more effective prevention, and more economical administration than any practical alternative.
However, Senators did want to know about the LDS Church’s controversial practice of polygamy, especially since 1890 when the practice was formally abandoned. Surprisingly, Church President Joseph F. Smith admitted that he had fathered eleven children by five wives since 1890. Asked about his role in receiving revelations for the church, Smith replied that he had received none thus far. Other questions probed the church’s involvement in politics, including action taken by the church against Apostle Moses Thatcher for saying that “Satan was the author of the Republican Party.”
To a large extent, the Mormon Church, not Senator Smoot, was the real target of the Senate’s scrutiny. Some felt uncomfortable about this emphasis. Senator Bailey (D-Tx) “objected to going into the religious opinions of these people. I do not think Congress has anything to do with that unless their religion connects itself in some way with their civil or political affairs.” But Smoot’s critics proceeded to show a convoluted tangle of Utah business, political, and religious affairs and what they considered to be un-American religious supremacy in all areas. They argued that a Senator “legislates for 80 million people who hold as their most cherished possession … a respect for law because it is law, as Reed Smoot, unhappily for him, has never felt nor understood from the moment of his first conscious thought down to the present hour. ”
In 1968, ten thousand students marched in protest over the terrible conditions prevalent in the high schools of East Los Angeles, the largest Mexican community in the United States. Chanting "Chicano Power," the young insurgents not only demanded change but heralded a new racial politics. Frustrated with the previous generation's efforts to win equal treatment by portraying themselves as racially white, the Chicano protesters demanded justice as proud members of a brown race. The legacy of this fundamental shift continues to this day.
Ian Haney López tells the compelling story of the Chicano movement in Los Angeles by following two criminal trials, including one arising from the student walkouts. He demonstrates how racial prejudice led to police brutality and judicial discrimination that in turn spurred Chicano militancy. He also shows that legal violence helped to convince Chicano activists that they were nonwhite, thereby encouraging their use of racial ideas to redefine their aspirations, culture, and selves. In a groundbreaking advance that further connects legal racism and racial politics, Haney López describes how race functions as "common sense," a set of ideas that we take for granted in our daily lives. This racial common sense, Haney López argues, largely explains why racism and racial affiliation persist today.
By tracing the fluid position of Mexican Americans on the divide between white and nonwhite, describing the role of legal violence in producing racial identities, and detailing the commonsense nature of race, Haney López offers a much needed, potentially liberating way to rethink race in the United States.
In post-Reformation Poland—the largest state in Europe and home to the largest Jewish population in the world—the Catholic Church suffered profound anxiety about its power after the Protestant threat. Magda Teter reveals how criminal law became a key tool in the manipulation of the meaning of the sacred and in the effort to legitimize Church authority. The mishandling of sacred symbols was transformed from a sin that could be absolved into a crime that resulted in harsh sentences of mutilation, hanging, decapitation, and, principally, burning at the stake.
Teter casts new light on the most infamous type of sacrilege, the accusation against Jews for desecrating the eucharistic wafer. These sacrilege trials were part of a broader struggle over the meaning of the sacred and of sacred space at a time of religious and political uncertainty, with the eucharist at its center. But host desecration—defined in the law as sacrilege—went beyond anti-Jewish hatred to reflect Catholic-Protestant conflict, changing conditions of ecclesiastic authority and jurisdiction, and competition in the economic marketplace.
Recounting dramatic stories of torture, trial, and punishment, this is the first book to consider the sacrilege accusations of the early modern period within the broader context of politics and common crime. Teter draws on previously unexamined trial records to bring out the real-life relationships among Catholics, Jews, and Protestants and challenges the commonly held view that following the Reformation, Poland was a “state without stakes”—uniquely a country without religious persecution.
The chief mandate of the criminal justice system is not to prosecute the guilty but to safeguard the innocent from wrongful convictions; with this startling assertion, legal scholar George Thomas launches his critique of the U.S. system and its emphasis on procedure at the expense of true justice.
Thomas traces the history of jury trials, an important component of the U.S. justice system, since the American Founding. In the mid-twentieth century, when it became evident that racism and other forms of discrimination were corrupting the system, the Warren Court established procedure as the most important element of criminal justice. As a result, police, prosecutors, and judges have become more concerned about following rules than about ensuring that the defendant is indeed guilty as charged. Recent cases of prisoners convicted of crimes they didn't commit demonstrate that such procedural justice cannot substitute for substantive justice.
American justices, Thomas concludes, should take a lesson from the French, who have instituted, among other measures, the creation of an independent court to review claims of innocence based on new evidence. Similar reforms in the United States would better enable the criminal justice system to fulfill its moral and legal obligation to prevent wrongful convictions.
"Thomas draws on his extensive knowledge of the field to elaborate his elegant and important thesis---that the American system of justice has lost sight of what ought to be its central purpose---protection of the innocent."
—Susan Bandes, Distinguished Research Professor of Law, DePaul University College of Law
"Thomas explores how America's adversary system evolved into one obsessed with procedure for its own sake or in the cause of restraining government power, giving short shrift to getting only the right guy. His stunning, thought-provoking, and unexpected recommendations should be of interest to every citizen who cares about justice."
—Andrew E. Taslitz, Professor of Law, Howard University School of Law
"An unflinching, insightful, and powerful critique of American criminal justice---and its deficiencies. George Thomas demonstrates once again why he is one of the nation's leading criminal procedure scholars. His knowledge of criminal law history and comparative criminal law is most impressive."
—Yale Kamisar, Distinguished Professor of Law, University of San Diego and Clarence Darrow Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Law, University of Michigan
In this innovative and revelatory work, Igal Halfin exposes the inner struggles of Soviet Communists to identify themselves with the Bolshevik Party during the decisive decades of the 1920s and 1930s. The Bolsheviks preached the moral transformation of Russians into model Communists for their political and personal salvation. To screen the population for moral and political deviance, the Bolsheviks enlisted natural scientists, doctors, psychologists, sexologists, writers, and Party prophets to establish criteria for judging people. Self-inspection became a central Bolshevik practice. Communists were expected to write autobiographies in which they reconfigured their life experience in line with the demands of the Party.
Halfin traces the intellectual contortions of this project. Initially, the Party denounced deviant Communists, especially the Trotskyists, as degenerate, but innocuous, souls; but in a chilling turn in the mid-1930s, the Party came to demonize the unreformed as virulent, malicious counterrevolutionaries. The insistence that the good society could not triumph unless every wicked individual was destroyed led to the increasing condemnation of Party members as helplessly flawed.
Combining the analysis of autobiography with the study of Communist psychology and sociology and the politics of Bolshevik self-fashioning, Halfin gives us powerful new insight into the preconditions of the bloodbath that was the Great Purge.
No account is more critical to our understanding of Joan of Arc than the contemporary record of her trial in 1431. Convened at Rouen and directed by bishop Pierre Cauchon, the trial culminated in Joan's public execution for heresy. The trial record, which sometimes preserves Joan's very words, unveils her life, character, visions, and motives in fascinating detail. Here is one of our richest sources for the life of a medieval woman.
This new translation, the first in fifty years, is based on the full record of the trial proceedings in Latin. Recent scholarship dates this text to the year of the trial itself, thereby lending it a greater claim to authority than had traditionally been assumed. Contemporary documents copied into the trial furnish a guide to political developments in Joan's career—from her capture to the attempts to control public opinion following her execution.
Daniel Hobbins sets the trial in its legal and historical context. In exploring Joan's place in fifteenth-century society, he suggests that her claims to divine revelation conformed to a recognizable profile of holy women in her culture, yet Joan broke this mold by embracing a military lifestyle. By combining the roles of visionary and of military leader, Joan astonished contemporaries and still fascinates us today.
Obscured by the passing of centuries and distorted by the lens of modern cinema, the story of the historical Joan of Arc comes vividly to life once again.
Originally published in 1947, The Trial of Sören Qvist has been praised by a number of critics for its intriguing plot and Janet Lewis’s powerful writing. And in the introduction to this new edition, Swallow Press executive editor and author Kevin Haworth calls attention to the contemporary feeling of the story—despite its having been written more than fifty years ago and set several hundred years in the past. As in Lewis’s best-known novel, The Wife of Martin Guerre, the plot derives from Samuel March Phillips’s nineteenth-century study, Famous Cases of Circumstantial Evidence, in which this British legal historian considered the trial of Pastor Sören Qvist to be the most striking case.
The "definitive one-volume study of Nuremberg," The Trial of the Germans is now available in paperback. An astute observer of the Nuremberg trial, Eugene Davidson has struggled with the issues it raised: Was it a necessary response to the heinous crimes of the Third Reich? How were Germany and the Germans capable of such extraordinary evil? Was the trial just, given the claims that the defendants were simply serving their country, doing as they had been told to do? And if not just, was it nonetheless necessary as a warning to prevent future crimes against humanity? Davidson's approach to these and other large questions of justice is made through examination of each of the defendants in the trial. His reluctant, but firm, conclusion is: "In a world of mixed human affairs where a rough justice is done that is better than lynching or being shot out of hand, Nuremberg may be defended as a political event if not as a court." Some sentences may have seemed too severe, but none was harsher than the punishments meted out to innocent people by the regime these men served. "In a certain sense," says Davidson, "the trial succeeded in doing what judicial proceedings are supposed to do: it convinced even the guilty that the verdict against them was just."
Faulty as the trial was from the legal point of view, a catharsis of the pent-up emotions of millions of people had to be provided and a record of what had taken place duly preserved for whatever use later generations would make of it.
Is race something we know when we see it? In 1857, Alexina Morrison, a slave in Louisiana, ran away from her master and surrendered herself to the parish jail for protection. Blue-eyed and blond, Morrison successfully convinced white society that she was one of them. When she sued for her freedom, witnesses assured the jury that she was white, and that they would have known if she had a drop of African blood. Morrison’s court trial—and many others over the last 150 years—involved high stakes: freedom, property, and civil rights. And they all turned on the question of racial identity.
Over the past two centuries, individuals and groups (among them Mexican Americans, Indians, Asian immigrants, and Melungeons) have fought to establish their whiteness in order to lay claim to full citizenship in local courtrooms, administrative and legislative hearings, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Like Morrison’s case, these trials have often turned less on legal definitions of race as percentages of blood or ancestry than on the way people presented themselves to society and demonstrated their moral and civic character.
Unearthing the legal history of racial identity, Ariela Gross’s book examines the paradoxical and often circular relationship of race and the perceived capacity for citizenship in American society. This book reminds us that the imaginary connection between racial identity and fitness for citizenship remains potent today and continues to impede racial justice and equality.
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