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Category Archives: Juries

Chicago Tribune, April 7, 1911. Sorry about the missing text on the right margin. I can’t for the life of me figure out what the missing letters are from the last sentence in the third paragraph: “He fell like —lok with a fractured skull.” I suppose there must be a typo here, such that “lok” should really be “lock.” But then it’s part of what? Bollock? Pollock? Oarlock? Warlock?
Anyway, I know exactly the sort of douchebag Leo Toteleck was, and I must dissent from the coroner’s jury decision not to prosecute him. I know it was the style at the time not to punish most first-time killers (except cop-killers and wife-killers), but practical jokers don’t just merit the same leniency.

Chicago Tribune, October 24 and 25, 1911. This pairing is sort of the antithesis of a previous interaction we’ve seen between cartoonist John T. McCutcheon and the trial system. I love this guy’s work. Editorial cartoons ain’t half of what they used to be.

Chicago Tribune, March 7 and 8, 1914 [click on images to enlarge]. The cartoon is by John T. McCutcheon, same guy who drew this one. He seems to have had an enduring interest in the phenomenon of the unprosecutable female murder defendant. The defense attorney’s contention that a female jury would be easier and not harder on Stella C. is not supported by this previous posting on the subject. But who knows?

kill citykill city2 Chicago Tribune, September 7, 1919. Trib cartoonist John T. McCutcheon touches on some of our favorite themes. But why no vampire autos, I wonder?! Read More »

schoolboysNew York Tribune, May 24, 1921. Maybe they were Boy Scouts earning their “Vigilante” badges. Well done, lads. Note how revulsion against wife-beaters trumps revulsion at the spectacle of youths physically tormenting an old man. The KKK reference is significant: the Second Ku Klux Klan is riding high in 1921 and was big in and around Akron.

perfect-jurora Detroit News, April 27, 1931.

Detroit News, April 29, 1931. It used to be standard practice in adultery-related divorce suits for the cheated-upon parties to sue the third party for “alienation of affections.” Essentially the seducer or seductress had robbed of them of a lifetime of lovin’, and they were entitled to cash compensation for that loss. But then it was ultimately up to a judge or jury to determine how much all that lovin’ was worth. What were the criteria? In the above case, the jury is implicitly measuring love by the pound. But there had to be hurt feelings to go around when an award came back $30K light. Even the new possessor of the runaway spouse has to feel insulted on some level, even if he or she is catching a huge financial break

But then there’s this other case to consider, from Detroit News, March 19, 1931: Read More »