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THE LIZZIE BORDEN TRIAL by Doreen Rappaport

THE LIZZIE BORDEN TRIAL

By Doreen Rappaport

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1992
ISBN: 0-06-025113-1
Publisher: HarperCollins

 In ``you be the jury'' format, a re-creation of a notorious 19th-century murder trial, complete with contradictory testimony, inflammatory press reports, and the defendant's emotional reactions. Lizzie Borden's prominent social position drew attention from the sensationalist ``yellow press,'' but Rappaport concentrates on presenting transcripts of actual testimony in the order the jury heard it, along with background notes on the defendant's legal rights, court procedures, and accounts of Borden's reactions to witnesses' accounts. After each witness's testimony, Rappaport poses questions to consider, most of them quite critical of the witnesses' veracity. Though she admits to combining questions and answers ``for purposes of economy,'' her account of the trial's uncertainties is convincing, while the use of actual testimony to illustrate the proceedings of US justice is effective. For would-be lawyers and true-crime fans, an account that shows how justice has--and hasn't--changed in a hundred years. Bibliography. Forty b&w photos and index not seen. (Nonfiction. 12+)