What to Expect when Facing a First Degree Murder Charge

First-degree murder is one of the most serious crimes in the United States. It draws very harsh sentences compared to any other criminal offense. First-degree murder penalties vary from state-to-state, and, in some states, you can be faced with life in prison without parole or a death sentence. Facing a first-degree murder charge or any[…]

What Are My Rights Against Police Brutality?

Police brutality is an issue that affects many across the world, but in the United States, it is particularly serious due to a variety of factors. One of the more serious aspects is how police brutality affects certain groups more than others; non-white people and members of the LGBT community being among the most affected,[…]

A History of Ideological Leanings of United States Supreme Court Justices

The justices of the Court are often categorized as having conservative, moderate, or liberal philosophies of law and of judicial interpretation. Introduction The United States Supreme Court is the highest federal court of the United States. Established pursuant to Article Three of the United States Constitution in 1789, it has ultimate (and largely discretionary) appellate jurisdiction over all federal courts and state court cases involving issues[…]

Great and Gruesome Medieval Trials

The relatively sensible approach to crime found in Ancient Rome gave way to something much different in the medieval world. Introduction The year is 897, and Pope Stephen VI has ordered the eight-month-old corpse of his predecessor removed from its vault at St. Peter’s.  The former, and very dead, pope is clad in his old pontifical[…]

Crime and Punishment in Medieval England

Surreal legal concepts ran amuck throughout the epoch. By Lloyd Duhaime, J.D.Duhaime Law The origins of English law, aka common law, are decidedly murky as they were based on unwritten customs, passed down from generation to generation. William the Conqueror (1028-87), Henry I, King Arthur and King Alfred, Canute (995-1035), Ethelbert and Edward the Confessor – all tried[…]

The Penal Treadmill in Victorian England

Penal treadmills were used in prisons in the early Victorian period in Britain as a method of exerting hard labor. A penal treadmill was a treadmill with interior steps set into two cast iron wheels. These drove a shaft that could be used to mill corn, pump water or connect to a large fan for resistance.[1] Penal[…]

Punishment Sentences at the Old Bailey from Early Modern to Victorian England

Types of punishments imposed on convicts at London’s central criminal court from the late 17th century to the early 20th century. Introduction Judges could choose from a wide range of punishment sentences in this period, though their options were often limited by choices made at an earlier stage in the judicial process. Felonies defined by[…]

Lincoln’s Appointment of Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase in 1864

Chase continued to pursue the presidency, seeking the Democratic nomination in 1868 and the Liberal Republican nomination in 1872. Introduction Salmon Portland Chase (January 13, 1808 – May 7, 1873) was a U.S. politician and jurist who served as the sixth Chief Justice of the United States. He also served as the 23rd Governor of Ohio, represented Ohio in[…]

How to Drive Defensively around Big Trucks

Commercial trucks often use the same roads as other non-commercial motor vehicles, and as you may already know, many crashes recorded each year involving large trucks. Since truck drivers usually spend a lot of time on the road, specific measures should be taken to prevent those accidents. When sharing the road with haulage trucks, you[…]

How to Become a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Legal professions today are considered prestigious thanks to their high demand and good pay. Whether you’re looking to become a personal injury lawyer or a criminal defense lawyer, every legal profession plays an important role in serving the citizens. As a lawyer in this discipline, your responsibility is to defend individuals and organizations that have[…]

Law and Politics in the Ancient Athenian Agora

The Agora was the central gathering place for all of Athens, where social and commercial dealings took place. Arguably, it’s most important purpose was as the home base for all of the city-state’s administrative, legal and political functions. Some of the most important, yet least acclaimed, buildings of ancient history and Classical Athens were located[…]

Balance and the Law in Ancient Egypt

What made a judgment legal and binding was how closely a legal decision aligned with ma’at. Introduction Egyptian law was based on the central cultural value of ma’at (harmony and balance) which was the foundation for the entire civilization. Ma’at was established at the beginning of time by the gods when the earth and universe[…]

A History of the Architecture of the United States Supreme Court

Initially, the Court met in the Merchants Exchange Building in New York City. Building History “The Republic endures and this is the symbol of its faith.” These words, spoken by Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes in laying the cornerstone for the Supreme Court Building on October 13, 1932, express the importance of the Supreme Court[…]

The History and Traditions of the United States Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is deeply tied to its traditions. Introduction Established by the United States Constitution, the Supreme Court began to take shape with the passage of the Judiciary Act of 1789 and has enjoyed a rich history since its first assembly in 1790. The Supreme Court is deeply tied to its traditions: Of the[…]

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[…]

A Brief History of Law since the Ancient World

Looking at legal institutions as complex systems of rules, players and symbols interacting with society. Introduction Legal history or the history of law is the study of how law has evolved and why it has changed. Legal history is closely connected to the development of civilisations and operates in the wider context of social history.[…]

Bologna as the Law School Model in Medieval Europe

Bologna remained a preeminent center for legal study and training for many centuries. Introduction The origins of modern universities can be traced to the 11th century, when the formal teaching of Roman law began at Bologna, Italy. The city became the center of a great revival of legal scholarship rooted in the study of the[…]

How Reliable Are Eye-Witness Testimonies?

Eye-witness testimonies are an essential component of many trials. They are a fundamental piece of evidence that in many cases are often necessary for the police to secure a conviction, and some cases cannot proceed without them. The reliability of eye-witness testimonies is always a concern. There have been cases when eye-witness testimonies have been[…]

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 /[…]

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[…]

The Role of Ma’at in the Emergence of Law in Ancient Egypt

Examining the emergence of ancient Egyptian law out of religion and specifically arising from the concept of maat. By Dr. N.J. van Blerk Lecturer in Ancient Studies University of South Africa (UNISA) Abstract In this article, the emergence of ancient Egyptian law out of religion and specifically arising from the concept of maat is discussed, as well as the[…]