Examination of seven famous trials, each concluding with an evaluation of the trial by a lawyer, judge, law professor, or communication scholar.
The Washington Post coverage of the John Hinckley case preceding the trial demonstrates the effects media may have on a trial. The Haymarket riot trial serves as an example of opening statements in a storytelling form.
By analyzing the trial of Bruno Richard Hauptmann, Schuetz and Snedaker explain direct examination according to its purpose, legal rules, ordering of witnesses, verbal and nonverbal techniques of interrogation, and tactics for introducing evidence.
The cross-examination in the Sacco-Vanzetti case shows how advocates enhance or decrease their persuasiveness by adopting communication maneuvers. Closing arguments in the Rosenberg trial took the form of a refutative story with a dual persuasive and instructional content.
The Supreme Court appeal in the Sam Sheppard case demonstrates the procedures, form, content, and style of arguments of appellate briefs. The Chicago Eight trial is an example of trial as theatre.
Carlson analyzes the situations of several women of varying historical stature, from the insanity trials of Mary Todd Lincoln and Lizzie Borden's trial for the brutal slaying of her father and stepmother, to lesser-known trials involving insanity, infidelity, murder, abortion, and interracial marriage. The insanity trial of Elizabeth Parsons Ware Packard, the wife of a minister, resulted from her attempts to change her own religion, while a jury acquitted Mary Harris for killing her married lover, suggesting that loss of virginity to an adulterous man was justifiable grounds for homicide. The popular conception of abortion as a "woman's crime" came to the fore in the case of Ann Loman (also known as Madame Restell), who performed abortions in New York both before and after it became a crime. Finally, Alice Rhinelander was sued for fraud by her new husband Leonard for "passing" as white, but the jury was more moved by the notion of Alice being betrayed as a woman by her litigious husband than by the supposed defrauding of Leonard as a white male. Alice won the case, but the image of womanhood as in need of sympathy and protection won out as well.
At the heart of these cases, Carlson reveals clearly just how narrow was the line that women had to walk, since the same womanly virtues that were expected of them--passivity, frailty, and purity--could be turned against them at any time. These trials of popular status are especially significant because they reflect the attitudes of the broad audience, indicate which forms of knowledge are easily manipulated, and allow us to analyze how the verdict is argued outside the courtroom in the public and press. With gripping retellings and incisive analysis of these scandalous criminal and civil cases, this book will appeal to historians, rhetoricians, feminist researchers, and anyone who enjoys courtroom drama.
In The Death of the American Trial, distinguished legal scholar Robert P. Burns makes an impassioned case for reversing the rapid decline of the trial before we lose one of our public culture’s greatest achievements. As a practice that is adapted for modern times yet rooted in ancient wisdom, the trial is uniquely suited to balance the tensions—between idealism and realism, experts and citizens, contextual judgment and reliance on rules—that define American culture. Arguing that many observers make a grave mistake by taking a complacent or even positive view of the trial’s demise, Burns concludes by laying out the catastrophic consequences of losing an institution that so perfectly embodies democratic governance.
Although the northern Illinois chapters of the story of Susan “Sukey” Richardson’s escape from slavery on the Underground Railroad are documented, the part played by southern Illinois in that historic episode has remained obscure. Carol Pirtle changes that with her investigation into the 1843 suit Andrew Borders lodged against William Hayes, charging his neighbor with helping slaves from the Borders estate escape to Galesburg. In conjunction with her probe into the past, Pirtle also discovered the Hayes correspondence.
Pirtle documents Hayes’s involvement in the Illinois Underground Railroad through approximately two hundred letters received by Hayes from the early 1820s until his death in 1849. Many of these letters specifically corroborate his participation in the escape of slaves from the Borders estate. One such letter came from T. A. Jones in 1843: “You Dear Sir are to me an unknown friend, yet I believe you are a friend to the poor down trodden Slave. This is as good an introduction as I want from any man. My brother, our cause is a holy one.” Letters written by Galesburg residents show that several prominent citizens of that community also assisted in the affair, proving that Knox College administrators and trustees were active in the Underground Railroad.
Pirtle also includes excerpts from the trial transcript from the 1844 civil case against Hayes, which was tried in Pinckneyville, Illinois. She researched newspaper accounts of the event, most notably those in the Western Citizen and the Sparta Herald. Records of the Covenanter Presbyterian church of which Hayes was a member provide partial explanations of Hayes’s motives.
Telling the story of Hayes and his involvement with Susan Richardson and the Underground Railroad, Pirtle provides insight into the work of abolitionists in Illinois. Escape Betwixt Two Suns, in fact, is one of the few books to substantiate the legends of the Underground Railroad. She tells the story of a quiet man who made a difference, of a man deserving the accolades of a hero.
On the field, legends like Don Hutson, Ray Nitschke, and Brett Favre made the Green Bay Packers into a professional football powerhouse. But the history of the NFL’s only small-town franchise is as much a story of business creativity as gridiron supremacy. Behind every Packer who became a legend on the field, there was an Andrew Turnbull, Dominic Olejniczak, or Bob Harlan, leaders whose dedication and creativity in preserving the franchise were unwavering.
Green Bay Packers: Trials, Triumphs, and Traditions tells the improbable story of professional football’s most iconic team, and along the way gives a unique window into the rise of modern professional sports. As the NFL has evolved into a financial juggernaut, the Green Bay Packers, with more than 112,158 stockholders, stand alone as the only professional sports franchise owned by fans, thus providing the only public record of how a sports team is run.
Featuring more than 300 photographs, some never before seen, Green Bay Packers illustrates how the most creative team in sports is also one of the most successful, with names like Lambeau, Canadeo, Lombardi, Hornung, Holmgren, and White leading the way to a league-best thirteen NFL titles and twenty-one Hall of Fame inductees. This comprehensive, up-to-date history of the Packers includes the 2011 season.
Death, wrote Walter Benjamin, lends storytellers all their authority. How do trials, in turn, borrow their authority from death? This book offers a groundbreaking account of the surprising interaction between trauma and justice.
Moving from texts by Arendt, Benjamin, Freud, Zola, and Tolstoy to the Dreyfus and Nuremberg trials, as well as the trials of O. J. Simpson and Adolf Eichmann, Shoshana Felman argues that the adjudication of collective traumas in the twentieth century transformed both culture and law. This transformation took place through legal cases that put history itself on trial, and that provided a stage for the expression of the persecuted--the historically "expressionless."
Examining legal events that tried to repair the crimes and injuries of history, Felman reveals the "juridical unconscious" of trials and brilliantly shows how this juridical unconscious is bound up with the logic of the trauma that a trial attempts to articulate and contain but so often reenacts and repeats. Her book gives the drama of the law a new jurisprudential dimension and reveals the relation between law and literature in a new light.
Ronnie Earle was a Texas legend. During his three decades as the district attorney responsible for Austin and surrounding Travis County, he prosecuted corrupt corporate executives and state officials, including the notorious US congressman Tom DeLay. But Earle maintained that the biggest case of his career was the one involving Frank Hughey Smith, the ex-convict millionaire, alleged criminal mastermind, and Dixie Mafia figure.
With the help of corrupt local authorities, Smith spent the 1970s building a criminal empire in auto salvage and bail bonds. But there was one problem: a rival in the salvage business threatened his dominance. Smith hired arsonists to destroy the rival; when they botched the job, he sent three gunmen, but the robbery they planned was a bloody fiasco. Investigators were convinced that Smith was guilty, but many were skeptical that the newly elected and inexperienced Earle could get a conviction. Amid the courtroom drama and underworld plots the book describes, Willie Nelson makes a cameo. So do the private eyes, hired guns, and madams who kept Austin not only weird but also riddled with vice. An extraordinary true story, Last Gangster in Austin paints an unusual picture of the Texas capital as a place that was wild, wonderful, and as crooked as the dirt road to paradise.
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.
New translations of fifty transliterated texts for research and classroom use
This collection of sixth-century B.C.E. Mesopotamian texts provides a close-up, often dramatic, view of ancient courtroom encounters shedding light on Neo-Babylonian legal culture and daily life. In addition to the legal texts, Holtz provides an introduction to Neo-Babylonian social history, archival records, and legal materials. This is an essential resource for scholars interested in the history of law.
In this humorous and upbeat memoir, James Wickersham describes his career as a pioneer judge and later as a congressional representative assigned to a vast, snow-covered district, extending over 300,000 square miles in the undeveloped Alaska Territory. Wickersham’s many adventures include traveling by dogsled over hundreds of miles through snow-covered mountains; serving as judge for the trials of many famous outlaws in the midst of the gold strikes; and hunting, mining, and climbing in his local Alaska wilderness. Though he was instrumental in the early history of Alaska, and his legacy is evident throughout the state—for example, he named the city of Fairbanks—this is the first and only work to focus on Wickersham’s life during this pivotal time in Alaska’s history.
Since the time of Blackstone's "Farewell," poetry has been seen as celestial, pastoral, solitary, and mellifluous; law as venerable, social, urban, and cacophonous. This perception has persisted even to the present, with the bourgeoning field of law and literature focusing almost exclusively on fiction and drama. Poetry of the Law, however, reveals the richness of poetry about the law.
Poetry of the Law is the first serious anthology of law-related poetry ever published in the United States. As the editors make clear, though, serious need not imply solemn. Instead, David Kader and Michael Stanford have assembled a surprisingly capacious collection of 100 poems from the 1300s to the present.
Set in courtrooms, lawyers’ offices, law-school classrooms, and judges’ chambers; peopled with attorneys, the imprisoned (both innocent and guilty), judges, jurors, witnesses, and law-enforcement officers; based on real events (think “Scottsboro”) or exploring the complexity of abstract legal ideas; the poems celebrate justice or decry the lack of it, ranging in tone from witty to wry, sad to celebratory, funny to infuriating. Poetry of the Law is destined to become an authoritative source for years to come.
W. H. Auden
Ralph Waldo Emerson
A. E. Housman
X. J. Kennedy
D. H. Lawrence
Edgar Lee Masters
W. S. Merwin
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Sir Walter Raleigh
Mona Van Duyn
William Carlos Williams
from “The Hanging Judge” by Eavan Boland
Come to the country where justice is seen to be done,
Done daily. Come to the country where
Sentence is passed by word of mouth and raw
Boys split like infinitives. Look, here
We hanged our son, our only son
And hang him still and still we call it law.
Contemporary scholarship illustrates the law’s increasingly powerful role in American life; legal education, in turn, has focused on the problems and techniques of communication. This book addresses these interests through critical study of eight popular trials: the 17th-century trial of Dr. Henry Sacheverell, and the 20th-century trials of Scopes, the Rosenbergs, the Chicago Seven, the Catonsville Nine, John Hinckley, Claus von Bulow, and San Diego Mayor Larry Hedgecock. Such trials spark major public debates, become symbols of public life, and legitimize particular beliefs and institutions. Despite high visibility and drama, however, the popular trial has not received sufficient study as persuasive event. Lying at the intersection of the institutional practices of law and the mass media, the popular trial has confounded study according to the conventional assumptions of scholarship in both law and communication studies.
Baucom contends that the massacre and the trials that followed it bring to light an Atlantic cycle of capital accumulation based on speculative finance, an economic cycle that has not yet run its course. The extraordinarily abstract nature of today’s finance capital is the late-eighteenth-century system intensified. Yet, as Baucom highlights, since the late 1700s, this rapacious speculative culture has had detractors. He traces the emergence and development of a counter-discourse he calls melancholy realism through abolitionist and human-rights texts, British romantic poetry, Scottish moral philosophy, and the work of late-twentieth-century literary theorists. In revealing how the Zong tragedy resonates within contemporary financial systems and human-rights discourses, Baucom puts forth a deeply compelling, utterly original theory of history: one that insists that an eighteenth-century atrocity is not past but present within the future we now inhabit.
This is the sixteenth volume in the Oratory of Classical Greece. This series presents all of the surviving speeches from the late fifth and fourth centuries BC in new translations prepared by classical scholars who are at the forefront of the discipline. These translations are especially designed for the needs and interests of today's undergraduates, Greekless scholars in other disciplines, and the general public.
Classical oratory is an invaluable resource for the study of ancient Greek life and culture. The speeches offer evidence on Greek moral views, social and economic conditions, political and social ideology, law and legal procedure, and other aspects of Athenian culture that have recently been attracting particular interest: women and family life, slavery, and religion, to name just a few.
This volume assembles twenty-two speeches previously published in the Oratory series. The speeches are taken from a wide range of different kinds of cases—homicide, assault, commercial law, civic status, sexual offenses, and others—and include many of the best-known speeches in these areas. They are Antiphon, Speeches 1, 2, 5, and 6; Lysias 1, 3, 23, 24, and 32; Isocrates 17, 20; Isaeus 1, 7, 8; Hyperides 3; Demosthenes 27, 35, 54, 55, 57, and 59; and Aeschines 1. The volume is intended primarily for use in teaching courses in Greek law or related areas such as Greek history. It also provides the introductions and notes that originally accompanied the individual speeches, revised slightly to shift the focus onto law.
What happened to Ebenezer Scrooge after the night he was visited by the three spirits?When we left Ebenezer Scrooge at the end of A Christmas Carol, he appeared to be a man transformed. But did he sincerely repent and earn admission to heaven? The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge, written in Dickensian style and with tongue firmly lodged in cheek, follows Scrooge through the Court of Heavenly Justice, where his soul’s fate is to be determined. In this courtroom drama, using frequent flashbacks, the author uncovers startling evidence, much of it directly from Dickens’s classic, that reveals Scrooge to have lived a saintly life before being confronted by three Christmas ghosts. Evidence mounts that Mr. Scrooge struck a Faustian bargain with the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, a deal to extend his own mortality in exchange for yielding his soul as a tool for the forces of darkness to infiltrate heaven. Readers will enjoy the remaking of some of Dickens’s best-known characters. Tiny Tim emerges as a villain, while little Eppie, borrowed from George Eliot’s Silas Marner, is Scrooge’s protector and source of salvation. This new novel provides the much-needed redemption of Ebenezer Scrooge’s reputation and offers a welcome departure from the standard saccharine fare at Christmastime. Dickens buffs will have a merry time trying to find where Dickens’s voice ends and the author’s begins. All readers will puzzle over how we could have so misjudged Ebenezer Scrooge, or whether we judged Scrooge aright from the start.
Once upon a time, virtually no one in the academy thought to sue over campus disputes, and, if they dared, judges bounced the case on grounds that it was no business of the courts. Tenure decisions, grading curves, course content, and committee assignments were the stuff of faculty meetings, not lawsuits.
Not so today. As Amy Gajda shows in this witty yet troubling book, litigation is now common on campus, and perhaps even more commonly feared. Professors sue each other for defamation based on assertions in research articles or tenure review letters; students sue professors for breach of contract when an F prevents them from graduating; professors threaten to sue students for unfairly criticizing their teaching.
Gajda’s lively account introduces the new duo driving the changes: the litigious academic who sees academic prerogative as a matter of legal entitlement and the skeptical judge who is increasingly willing to set aside decades of academic deference to pronounce campus rights and responsibilities.
This turn to the courts is changing campus life, eroding traditional notions of academic autonomy and confidentiality, and encouraging courts to micromanage course content, admissions standards, exam policies, graduation requirements, and peer review.
This book explores the origins and causes of the litigation trend, its implications for academic freedom, and what lawyers, judges, and academics themselves can do to limit the potential damage.
Before 1854, most Northerners managed to ignore the distant unpleasantness of slavery. But that year an escaped Virginia slave, Anthony Burns, was captured and brought to trial in Boston--and never again could Northerners look the other way. This is the story of Burns's trial and of how, arising in abolitionist Boston just as the incendiary Kansas-Nebraska Act took effect, it revolutionized the moral and political climate in Massachusetts and sent shock waves through the nation.
In a searching cultural analysis, Albert J. von Frank draws us into the drama and the consequences of the case. He introduces the individuals who contended over the fate of the barely literate twenty-year-old runaway slave--figures as famous as Richard Henry Dana Jr., the defense attorney, as colorful as Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Bronson Alcott, who led a mob against the courthouse where Burns was held, and as intriguing as Moncure Conway, the Virginia-born abolitionist who spied on Burns's master.
The story is one of desperate acts, even murder--a special deputy slain at the courthouse door--but it is also steeped in ideas. Von Frank links the deeds and rhetoric surrounding the Burns case to New England Transcendentalism, principally that of Ralph Waldo Emerson. His book is thus also a study of how ideas relate to social change, exemplified in the art and expression of Emerson, Henry Thoreau, Theodore Parker, Bronson Alcott, Walt Whitman, and others.
Situated at a politically critical moment--with the Whig party collapsing and the Republican arising, with provocations and ever hotter rhetoric intensifying regional tensions--the case of Anthony Burns appears here as the most important fugitive slave case in American history. A stirring work of intellectual and cultural history, this book shows how the Burns affair brought slavery home to the people of Boston and brought the nation that much closer to the Civil War.
In April 1981, two white Texas prison officials died at the hands of a black inmate at the Ellis prison farm near Huntsville. Warden Wallace Pack and farm manager Billy Moore were the highest-ranking Texas prison officials ever to die in the line of duty. The warden was drowned face down in a ditch. The farm manager was shot once in the head with the warden's gun. The man who admitted to killing them, a burglar and robber named Eroy Brown, surrendered meekly, claiming self-defense.
In any other era of Texas prison history, Brown's fate would have seemed certain: execution. But in 1980, federal judge William Wayne Justice had issued a sweeping civil rights ruling in which he found that prison officials had systematically and often brutally violated the rights of Texas inmates. In the light of that landmark prison civil rights case, Ruiz v. Estelle, Brown had a chance of being believed.
The Trials of Eroy Brown, the first book devoted to Brown's astonishing defense, is based on trial documents, exhibits, and journalistic accounts of Brown's three trials, which ended in his acquittal. Michael Berryhill presents Brown's story in his own words, set against the backdrop of the chilling plantation mentality of Texas prisons. Brown's attorneys—Craig Washington, Bill Habern, and Tim Sloan—undertook heroic strategies to defend him, even when the state refused to pay their fees. The Trials of Eroy Brown tells a landmark story of prison civil rights and the collapse of Jim Crow justice in Texas.
In 1843, the Louisiana Supreme Court heard the case of a slave named Sally Miller, who claimed to have been born a free white person in Germany. Sally, a very light-skinned slave girl working in a New Orleans caf, might not have known she had a case were it not for a woman who recognized her as Salom Muller, with whom she had emigrated from Germany over twenty years earlier. Sally decided to sue for her freedom, and was ultimately freed, despite strong evidence contrary to her claim.
In The Two Lives of Sally Miller, Carol Wilson explores this fascinating legal case and its reflection on broader questions about race, society, and law in the antebellum South. Why did a court system known for its extreme bias against African Americans help to free a woman who was believed by many to be a black slave? Wilson explains that while the notion of white enslavement was shocking, it was easier for society to acknowledge that possibility than the alternative-an African slave who deceived whites and triumphed over the system.
The American criminal justice system contains numerous safeguards to prevent the conviction of innocent persons. The Bill of Rights provides nineteen separate rights for the alleged criminal offender, including the right to effective legal representation and the right to be judged without regard to race or creed. Despite these safeguards, wrongful convictions persist, and the issue has reverberated in the national debate over capital punishment.
The essays in this volume are written from a cross-disciplinary perspective by some of the most eminent lawyers, criminologists, and social scientists in the field today. The articles are divided into four sections: the causes of wrongful convictions, the social characteristics of the wrongly convicted, case studies and personal histories, and suggestions for changes in the criminal justice system to prevent wrongful convictions. Contributors examine a broad range of issues, including the fallibility of eyewitness testimony, particularly in cross-racial identifications; the disadvantages faced by racial and ethnic minorities in the criminal justice system; and the impact of new technologies, especially DNA evidence, in freeing the innocent and bringing the guilty to justice. The book also asks such questions as: What legal characteristics do wrongful convictions share? What are the mechanisms that defendants and their attorneys use to overturn wrongful convictions? The book also provides case studies that offer specific examples of what can and does go wrong in the criminal justice system.
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