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NCJ Number: 157931 Find in a Library
Title: Logic of Women on Trial: Case Studies of Popular American Trials
Author(s): J Schuetz
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 265
Sponsoring Agency: Southern Illinois University Press
Carbondale, IL 62901
Publication Number: ISBN 0-8093-1926-8
Sale Source: Southern Illinois University Press
Box 3697
Carbondale, IL 62901
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Subjects of this study are nine American women who stood trial for felony crimes; although they lived in different historical eras and represented diverse demographics, they shared a great deal in that their trials evoked public controversy about certain social and legal issues.
Abstract: The nine cases cover the period from colonial times to the present and include women charged with witchcraft, assassination and murder, espionage, child molestation, and bank robbery. A critical perspective of the nine cases is presented based on an analysis of trial records. The author shows how trial logic embodies history and gender, identifies limitations of legal procedures, and describes ways in which litigants constructed situational rationality. She also shows how popular trials mirror interests, values, and controversies of society and how such trials encourage both vicarious and direct public participation in debates about morality, justice, fairness, gender, relationships, and motherhood. Analysis of the nine cases assumes that legal argument is constitutive, reflects changes in contexts, embodies values of arguers, and provides a historical and textual record of reasoning. Each book chapter analyzes how arguers rhetorically construct legal events, the goal being to understand how legal participants constructed trial logic and how trial logic included values of the historical era, perceptions about women, and legal statutes and procedures. 364 references
Main Term(s): Court procedures
Index Term(s): Felony courts; Female murderers; Female offenders; Gender issues; History of criminal justice; Trial procedures; Violent women
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