Murder on Trial

1620-2002

Edited by Robert Asher, Lawrence B. Goodheart, and Alan Rogers

Subjects: American Studies
Paperback : 9780791463789, 287 pages, March 2005
Hardcover : 9780791463772, 287 pages, March 2005

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Table of contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1. Adjudicating Homicide: The Legal Framework and Social Norms
Robert Asher, Lawrence B. Goodheart, and Alan Rogers

Race

2. Cross-Cultural "Murther" and Retribution in Colonial New England
John J. Navin

3. Jim Crow Justice, the Richmond Planet, and the Murder of Lucy Pollard
Michael Ayers Trotti

4. Justice Denied: Race and the 1982 Murder Trial of Mumia Abu-Jamal
Dave Lindorff

Mental Competency

5. Murder and Minors: Changing Standards in the Criminal Law of Connecticut, 1650-1853
Nancy H. Steenburg

6. Murder and Madness: The Ambiguity of Moral Insanity in Nineteenth-Century Connecticut
Lawrence B. Goodheart

7. Mad Men and Wronged Women: Murder and the Insanity Defense in Massachusetts, 1844-2000
Alan Rogers

Gender and Class Norms

8. Murder by Inches: Shakers, Family, and the Death of Elder Caleb Dyer
Elizabeth A. De Wolfe

9. "He Has Ravished my Poor Simple, Innocent Wife!": Exploring the Meaning of Honor in the Murder Trials of George W. Cole
Laura-Eve Moss

10. Bodies of Evidence: Inquest Photography in the Trial of Lizzie Borden
Tiffany Johnson Bidler

List of Contributors

Index

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.

Description

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.