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A historical romp through the fascinating subject of murder jurisprudence in the United States from the colonial period to the present, showing how changing social mores have influenced the application of murder law.
This fascinating collection examines murder jurisprudencethe social rules that govern the arrest, trial, and punishment of people accused of murderin the United States from the colonial period to the present. The contributors show how changing social mores have influenced the application of murder law by highlighting the ways cultural biases like racism, changing ideas about childhood and insanity, and the ameliorative effects of middle class status and paternal imagery both helped and handicapped persons accused of murder. Such famous cases as the Lizzie Borden axe murder and African American activist Abu-Jamal's murder trial are included.
Murder on Trial is an excellent collection on an important subject. Its vivid essays bring past murder trials to life. The meaning of 'justice,' as the authors point out, depends on historical circumstances; this book helps us understand why. Randolph Roth, The Ohio State University
Murder on Trial is an amazing resource. From Shakers in early America to Mumia in postmodern Philadelphia, the collection makes it clearbeyond a reasonable doubtthat American concepts of identity have owed much to courtroom dramas of murder and reckoning. The contributors here teach us, with uniformly impeccable research and narrative vigor, that the ability to 'read' trials is a major tool for the cultural historian. Jeffrey Melnick, author of Black-Jewish Relations on Trial: Leo Frank and Jim Conley in the New South
Contributors include Robert Asher, Tiffany Johnson Bidler, Elizabeth A. De Wolfe, Lawrence B. Goodheart, Dave Lindorff, Laura-Eve Moss, John J. Navin, Alan Rogers, Nancy H. Steenburg, and Michael Ayers Trotti.