Crimes of the Century: From Leopold and Loeb to O. J. Simpson / Edition 1

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Overview

In compelling narrative, the authors probe the sensational cases of Nathan F. Leopold, Jr., and Richard A. Loeb, the Scottsboro "boys," Bruno Richard Hauptmann, Alger Hiss, and O.J. Simpson, highlighting significant lessons about criminal behavior and the administration of criminal justice.

Each case study details the crime, the police investigation, and the court proceedings, profiles the major players, and examines the outcome and aftermath of the trial. The authors untangle the perplexities surrounding the cases and illuminate the many mysteries that remain unsolved today. These celebrated trials reveal issues of overzealous prosecution, sloppy police work, judicial bias, race, class, and ethnic struggles, and the role of wealth in securing a competent defense. They also show how the temper of the times and frenzied media coverage heightened the intensity of drama in the cases.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The authors offer a fair analysis of celebrated cases that address the need to see that true justice is done."—Kirkus Reviews

"What makes the book so enjoyable and worthwhile-beyond the riveting, sometimes gory details of the misdeeds it chronicles-is its sophisticated exploration of the myriad social and intellectual currents that combine to create a crime of the century."—Jonathan S. Shapiro, American Lawyer

"A gripping book."—Neil Steinberg, Chicago Sun-Times

"For legal scholars as well as social historians, this work is a valuable tool, and laymen should find it an enjoyable read."—Booklist

Internet Book Watch
Crimes Of The Century examines the Leopold and Loeb murder case (1924); the Scottsboro Boys case (1931), the Lindberg baby kidnaping case (1932); Alger Hiss and the House Un-American Activities case (1948); and the O.J. Simpson case (1994) in a fascinating analysis of the 20th century American criminal justice system. Each case example highlights significant lessons about criminal behavior and the administration of criminal justice. Fascinating, insightful, compelling, sometimes chilling, often challenging, Crimes Of The Century is very highly recommended reading for students of American jurisprudence, criminal psychology, and the non-specialist general reader with an interest in contemporary crime and the American justice system.
—Internet Book Watch
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555534271
  • Publisher: University Press of New England
  • Publication date: 3/28/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 244
  • Sales rank: 486,101
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Gilbert Geis is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society, at the University of California, Irvine. He is a former President of the American Society of Criminology and recipient of its Edwin H. Sutherland Award for outstanding research. He is the co-author of A Trial of Witches: A Seventeenth-Century Witchcraft Prosecution. Leigh B. Bienen is a Senior Lecturer at the Northwestern University School of Law. A former public defender, she has published numerous articles on homicide, the death penalty, juries, and sex offenses. She is the co-author of Jurors and Rape.

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Table of Contents

Illustrations ix
1 Introduction 3
2 Leopold and Loeb (1924) and the Cause of Crime 13
3 Scottsboro (1931) and Racial Injustice 49
4 Bruno Richard Hauptmann (1932), Public Outrage, and Criminal Justice 89
5 Alger Hiss (1948), the House Un-American Activities Committee, and the Courts 127
6 O. J. Simpson (1994): Can the Rich Buy Reasonable Doubt? 169
7 Conclusion 205
Index 217
Acknowledgments 229
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