Salvatore Maranzano: ‘Boss of All Bosses’ in the Early American Mafia

He briefly became the Mafia’s capo di tutti capi (“boss of all bosses”) and formed the Five Families in New York City. Introduction Salvatore Maranzano July 31, 1886 – September 10, 1931 was an organized crime figure from the town of Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily, and an early Cosa Nostra boss who led what later[…]

A History of the American Mafia

The first published account of what became the Mafia in the United States dates to the spring of 1869. Introduction The American Mafia, commonly referred to in North America as “the Mafia” or sometimes “the Mob”, or the Italian-American Mafia,[3][4][5] is a highly organized Italian-American criminal society and criminal organization. The organization is often referred[…]

San Francisco Vigilantes in the Mid-19th Century

These so-called militias hanged eight people and forced several elected officials to resign. Introduction The San Francisco Committee of Vigilance was a vigilante group formed in 1851. The catalyst for its formation was the criminality of the Sydney Ducks gang.[1] It was revived in 1856 in response to rampant crime and corruption in the municipal[…]

History Of The Death Penalty For Law Students

During the colonial era, laws related to the death penalty were primarily influenced by the European system. The practice of capital punishment was brought in by the European settlers who came to the American continent. However, the entire sentiments towards capital punishment have undergone a series of changes throughout history. Law students are often required[…]

The Treatment of Women in Prison in the 19th Century

Woking Convict Invalid Prison: a woman prisoner in solitary confinement / Wellcome Collection, Creative Commons Prison officers tried to regulate women’s minds and bodies, and maintain a new disciplinary routine in the second half of the 1800s. Many female inmates resisted.      By (left-to-right) Dr. Rachel Bennett, Dr. Catherine Cox, and Dr. Hilary Marland /[…]

Thomas Scattergood: Forensic Toxicology in Victorian Yorkshire

Saltaire Victorian village – Bradford, Yorkshire, England. UNESCO World Heritage Site As a regional forensic expert, Thomas Scattergood takes his place in the historiography of crime and forensic practice in England. By Dr. Cassie Watson and Dr. Laura Sellers / 12.19.2017 Introduction Dr Thomas Scattergood, First Dean of Medicine at Yorkshire College (1884–1900) Thomas Scattergood,[…]

From Game of Thrones to Steven Pinker: Just how Lawless Were the Middle Ages?

Castillo de Zafra / Photo by Borjaanimal, Wikimedia Commons Medieval men and women were caught up in a Hobbesian pre-state society where violence was unrestrained and regularly went unpunished. Just how accurate is this perception? By Dr. Sara M. Butler / 08.15.2017 Professor and King George III Chair in British History The Ohio State University NOTE: This[…]

A Barbaric Form of Fixed Medieval Justice

Ordeal of boiling water from a Sachsenspiegel manuscript (1350 – 1375). Photo courtesy the Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, Germany In difficult criminal cases, when ‘ordinary’ evidence was lacking, their legal systems asked God to painfully inform them about defendants’ criminal status. By Dr. Peter T. Leeson / 10.19.2017 Duncan Black Professor of Economics and Law[…]

Punishing Criminals in the Middle Ages

In the Medieval ages there was an incredible amount of criminals, mostly because of impunity which gave them freedom to commit crimes. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 09.28.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Reasons for Committing Crimes In the Medieval ages there was an incredible amount of criminals, mostly because of impunity which gave them freedom[…]

From Blue Lobsters to Friendly Giants: Visual Representations of the Police, 1840–1880

Gloucestershire Constabulary at Northleach 1850s Pictures of Victorian policemen contain varied, conflicting and interacting strands of meaning. By Jane M. Card / 08.27.2018 Historian Introduction Images from the past are never to be taken at face value since, made according to contemporary visual conventions and artistic tastes, they reflect not objective reality but contemporary opinions[…]

A Sociological Understanding of Deviance, Social Control, and Crime

Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 03.15.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – Deviance 1.1 – Introduction Merton’s Social Strain Theory: This diagram depicts Robert K. Merton’s Social Strain Theory. Deviance, in a sociological context, describes actions or behaviors that violate informal social norms or formally-enacted rules. Among those who study social norms and their relation[…]

Former ‘Law & Order’ Director Gets 10 Years Probation For Child Pornography Charges

Jace Alexander attends the Screen Actors Guild Foundation Inaugural New York Golf Classic at Trump National Golf Club at Briarcliff Manor in Westchester, NY, on October 7, 2013. (Photo by Anthony Behar/Sipa USA) From Julia Brucculieri at Huffington Post / 06.29.2016: Jason “Jace” Alexander, a television director who worked on “Law & Order,” has been sentenced[…]

Corroding Civil Liberties, Supreme Court Codifies Unlawful Police Stops

The Supreme Court ruled 5-3 that evidence collected during an illegal stop can be used in court if the search was conducted after the discovery of an arrest warrant. (Photo: Mark Fischer/flickr/cc) “This case tells everyone…that your body is subject to invasion while courts excuse the violation of your rights,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in[…]

Last Chance Incorporated

Through industry and ruination, a human body and a landscape compose a life tenuously holding together. Occulted ways of mattering in a late industrial landscape. By Dr. Jason A. Pine Professor of Anthropology Purchase College Cultural Anthropology 31:2 (May 2016) All photos by Jason Pine The Monarch trailer lies in the dirt off the side[…]