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Full-Text Articles in Law
A Diva Defends Herself: Gender And Domestic Violence In An Early Twentieth-Century Headline Trial, Carolyn B. Ramsey
This short article was presented as part of a symposium on headline criminal trials, organized by St. Louis University School of Law in honor of Lawrence Friedman. It describes and analyzes the self-defense acquittal of opera singer Mae Talbot in Nevada in 1910 on charges of murdering her abusive husband. Based on extensive research into archival trial records and newspaper reports, the article discusses how the press, the court, and trial lawyers on both sides depicted the killing and Mae’s possible defenses. Without discounting the sensationalism and entertainment value, to a scandal-hungry public, of stories about violent marriages, I ...
The Botched Hanging Of William Williams: How Too Much Rope And Minnesota’S Newspapers Brought An End To The Death Penalty In Minnesota, John Bessler
All Faculty Scholarship
This article describes Minnesota's last state-sanctioned execution: that of William Williams, who was hanged in 1906 in the basement of the Ramsey County Jail. Convicted of killing a teenage boy, Williams was tried on murder charges in 1905 and was put to death in February of the following year. Because the county sheriff miscalculated the length of the rope, the hanging was botched, with Williams hitting the floor when the trap door was opened. Three deputies, standing on the scaffold, thereafter seized the rope and forcibly pulled it up until Williams - fourteen and half minutes later - died by strangulation ...