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 jurisprudence—the social rules that govern the arrest, trial, and punishment of people accused of murder—in 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.
Robert Asher is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Connecticut. Lawrence B. Goodheart is Professor of History at the University of Connecticut and author of Mad Yankees: The Hartford Retreat for the Insane and Nineteenth-Century Psychiatry. Alan Rogers is Professor of History at Boston College.