Getting Away with Murder

American Historical Review, Vol. 111, No.1, pp. 95-103, 2006

10 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2009

Date Written: 2006

Abstract

The historically high homicide rates in the United States have often been treated as an evidence of a violent national character. This article suggests that those rates should be considered from a different perspective, one that looks not only at rates of homicide but also at the lenient way the criminal justice system treated many homicide cases. What was it about American justice that led juries acquit so often? Why did juries or judges sentence convicted killers more leniently than law required? This article looks at some 19th century cases from South Carolina to raise some questions for future research.

Keywords: criminal justice, class, criminal jury, jury nullification, extralegal justice, criminal trials, legal history, rule of law, law and society

Suggested Citation

Dale, Elizabeth, Getting Away with Murder (2006). American Historical Review, Vol. 111, No.1, pp. 95-103, 2006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1432779

Elizabeth Dale (Contact Author)

Levin College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 117625
Gainesville, FL 32611-7625
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
88
Abstract Views
2,061
rank
353,358
PlumX Metrics