The Death of the American Trial Large Print 16pt

Author: Robert P. Burns
Publisher: ReadHowYouWant.com
ISBN: 1459605535
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The American trial looms large in our collective imagination - witness the enormous popularity of Law Order - but it is, in reality, almost extinct. In 2002, less than 2 percent of federal civil cases culminated in a trial, down from 12 percent forty years earlier. And the number of criminal trials also dropped dramatically, from 9 percent of cases in 1976 to only 3 percent in 2002. In The Death of the American Trial, distinguished legal scholar Robert P. Burns makes an impassioned case for reversing this rapid decline before we lose one of our public culture's greatest achievements. Burns begins by cutting through all-too-common misinformation about contemporary trials, reminding readers of its essential features and functions. These characteristics, he shows, resulted from a centuries-long process that brought trials to maturity only in the early twentieth century. 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 reality, experts and citizens, contextual judgment and reliance on rules - that define American culture. Arguing that many observers make a grave mistake by taking a positive or even complacent view of the trial's demise, Burns concludes by laying out the catastrophic consequences of losing an institution that so perfectly embodies democratic governance. As one federal judge put it, the jury is the ''canary in the mineshaft; if it goes, if our people lose their inherited right to do justice in court, other democratic institutions will lose breath too.'' The Death of the American Trial arrives not a second too soon to spark a rescue operation before trials are relegated to the purely fictional realm of televised drama.

Death of a Jewish American Princess

Author: Shirley Frondorf
Publisher: Villard
ISBN: 0307831167
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In 1982, a sensational murder trial in Phoenix, Arizona, reverberated throughout the legal community. Restaurateur Steven Steinberg, who killed his wife by stabbing her 26 times, was acquitted; his legal defense portrayed the victim as an overpowering "Jewish American Princess" whose excesses may have provoked her violent end. Examining the structure of the defense's case, Frondorf, an attorney who was previously a psychiatric social worker, follows the theme that made Elana Steinberg the villain, instead of the victim, of the piece. The defense's forensic presentation, bolstered by testimony from psychiatrists, maintained that Steinberg committed the crime while sleepwalking, an abnormality allegedly brought on by the intemperate spending of his wife. Frondorf recreates the trial whose outcome scarred the tightly knit Jewish community of Phoenix.

Jesus on Death Row

Author: Mark Osler
Publisher: Abingdon Press
ISBN: 1426722893
Format: PDF, ePub
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What does the most infamous criminal proceeding in history--the trial of Jesus of Nazareth--have to tell us about capital punishment in the United States? Jesus Christ was a prisoner on death row. If that statement surprises you, consider this fact: of all the roles that Jesus played--preacher, teacher, healer, mentor, friend--none features as prominently in the gospels as this one, a criminal indicted and convicted of a capital offense. Now consider another fact: the arrest, trial, and execution of Jesus bear remarkable similarities to the American criminal justice system, especially in capital cases. From the use of paid informants to the conflicting testimony of witnesses to the denial of clemency, the elements in the story of Jesus' trial mirror the most common components in capital cases today. Finally, consider a question: How might we see capital punishment in this country differently if we realized that the system used to condemn the Son of God to death so closely resembles the system we use in capital cases today? Should the experience of Jesus' trial, conviction, and execution give us pause as we take similar steps to place individuals on death row today? These are the questions posed by this surprising, challenging, and enlightening book

Capital Punishment on Trial

Author: David M. Oshinsky
Publisher: Landmark Law Cases & American
ISBN: 9780700617111
Format: PDF, Docs
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A Pulitzer Prize-winning historian takes a new and closer look at the Supreme Court's controversial and much-debated stance on capital punishment in the landmark case of Furman v. Georgia.

Kafka s Law

Author: Robert P. Burns
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022616747X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Franz Kafka s vision of the Law in "The Trial "is so strange, arbitrary, and unjust that it would seem to be the antithesis of our own. Yet, that is what makes Robert Burns latest book so compelling. Robert Burns brilliantly shows that Kakfa s masterpiece provides an uncanny lens through which to see and understand the American criminal justice system today. It provokes a shock of recognition that makes us see it in a very different light. Assuming no prior knowledge of Kafka s book, Burns tells the story, at once funny and grim, of Josef K., caught in the Law s grip and then crushed by it. Laying out the characteristics of Kafka s Law, Burns argues that the American criminal justice system has taken on too many of those same qualities. In the overwhelming majority of cases, our system is composed of police interrogation followed by plea bargaining, where the courts only function is but to set a sentence on an individual already determined to be guilty. Like Kafka s nightmarish vision, too much of our criminal law and procedure has become unknowable, ubiquitous, and bureaucratic. It too has come to rely on deception in dealing with suspects and jurors, to limit the role of defense counsel, and to increasingly dispense justice without the protections of formal procedures. Burns compellingly explains how and why we have become an increasingly punitive society. Finally, he takes up the question of whether we have the resources to change these Kafkaesque aspects of our criminal justice system and shows how the jury trial has that potential, but only if it is returned to a more central place in our system."

JOHN BROWN S TRIAL

Author: Brian McGinty
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674035178
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Mixing idealism with violence, abolitionist John Brown cut a wide swath across the United States before winding up in Virginia, where he led an attack on the U.S. armory and arsenal at Harpers Ferry. Supported by a "provisional army" of 21 men, Brown hoped to rouse the slaves in Virginia to rebellion. But he was quickly captured and, after a short but stormy trial, hanged on December 2, 1859. Brian McGinty provides the first comprehensive account of the trial, which raised important questions about jurisdiction, judicial fairness, and the nature of treason under the American constitutional system.

O J the Last Word

Author: Gerry Spence
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 0312195192
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The best-selling, no-holds-barred classic every lawyer, everyone involved in the media, & anyone interested in criminology must read if the failing justice system is to be saved.

Mercy on Trial

Author: Austin Sarat
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400826721
Format: PDF, Docs
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On January 11, 2003, Illinois Governor George Ryan--a Republican on record as saying that "some crimes are so horrendous . . . that society has a right to demand the ultimate penalty"--commuted the capital sentences of all 167 prisoners on his state's death row. Critics demonized Ryan. For opponents of capital punishment, however, Ryan became an instant hero whose decision was seen as a signal moment in the "new abolitionist" politics to end killing by the state. In this compelling and timely work, Austin Sarat provides the first book-length work on executive clemency. He turns our focus from questions of guilt and innocence to the very meaning of mercy. Starting from Ryan's controversial decision, Mercy on Trial uses the lens of executive clemency in capital cases to discuss the fraught condition of mercy in American political life. Most pointedly, Sarat argues that mercy itself is on trial. Although it has always had a problematic position as a form of "lawful lawlessness," it has come under much more intense popular pressure and criticism in recent decades. This has yielded a radical decline in the use of the power of chief executives to stop executions. From the history of capital clemency in the twentieth century to surrounding legal controversies and philosophical debates about when (if ever) mercy should be extended, Sarat examines the issue comprehensively. In the end, he acknowledges the risks associated with mercy--but, he argues, those risks are worth taking.

Enemy of the State

Author: Prof. Michael A. Newton
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 9781429947091
Format: PDF, Mobi
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At 12:21 p.m., on October 19, 2005, Saddam Hussein was escorted into the Courtroom of the Iraqi High Tribunal in Baghdad for one of the most important and chaotic trials in history. For a year, two American law professors had led an elite team of experts who prepared the judges and prosecutors for "the mother of all trials." Michael Scharf, a former State Department official who helped create the Yugoslavia Tribunal in 1993, and Michael Newton, then a professor at West Point, would confront such issues as whether the death penalty should apply, how to run a fair trial when political and military passions run so high, and which of Saddam's many crimes should be prosecuted. Newton was in Baghdad in December 2003 when the Tribunal was announced and Saddam was captured. In the following months, Scharf and Newton helped write the rules of the Tribunal, conducted a mock trial in (perhaps appropriately) Stratford-upon-Avon, England, and provided legal analysis on dozens of issues. Newton then returned to Baghdad several times during the trial and appeal. Now, from its two shapers, comes the fascinating inside story of the trial and execution of Saddam Hussein and the attempt to bring the rule of law to post-invasion Iraq.

Death Penalty on Trial

Author: Bill Kurtis
Publisher: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 0786734035
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Bill Kurtis, anchor of the wildly popular true-crime TV series Cold Case Files and American Justice, used to support the death penalty. But after observing the machinations of the justice system for thirty years, he came to a stunning realization that changed his life: Capital punishment is wrong. There can be no real justice in America until it is abolished. In The Death Penalty on Trial, Kurtis takes readers on his most remarkable investigative journey yet. Together, we revisit murder scenes, study the evidence, and explore the tactical decisions made before and during trials that send innocent people to death row. We examine the eight main reasons why the wrong people are condemned to death, including overzealous and dishonest prosecutors, corrupt policemen, unreliable witnesses and expert witnesses, incompetent defense attorneys, bias judges, and jailhouse informants. We see why the new jewel of forensic science, DNA, is revealing more than innocence and guilt, opening a window into the criminal justice system that could touch off a revolution of reform. Ultimately we come to a remarkable conclusion: The possibility for error in our justice system is simply too great to allow the death penalty to stand as our ultimate punishment.