VERDICT IN DISPUTE by Edgar Lustgarten


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Six murder trials whose verdicts are open to dispute are analyzed by the author of the critically acclaimed first crime novel One More Unfortunate (1947) whose claim is that they are classics in their field. Florence Maybrick accused of poisoning her husband, Steinie Morrison who was tried for killing an old man, Norman Thorne suspected of murdering his mistress, Edith Thompson supposed to have incited her lover to kill her husband, William Herbert Wallace believed to have murdered his wife (all English cases) and Lizzie Borden. In the study of the trials the facts, the working of criminal jurisprudence are discussed, not for the purpose of proving whether or not the accused was guilty but whether that guilt was or was not proved. The weighty and damning points of both sides, the importance of the jury, the behaviour of the judge, the presentation of counsel -- all are examined closely and related to the verdicts. This type of investigation offers food for thoughtfulness on judicial procedures as it indicates the changes that have occurred from 1881 to 1931. Followers of legal problems, lawyers and students of crime classics can indulge their interests here.

Pub Date: Feb. 6th, 1950
ISBN: 1153571374
Publisher: Scribner