Before Rosa Parks, there was this man
Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly
February 17, 2023
Nearly 10 years before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus, a young African-American lieutenant in the U.S. Army had done the same thing. For his refusal to get up, he was court-martialed and charged with six violations: two counts of disrespecting an officer, one for refusing to obey a lawful order, and three counts of “abusive, vile and obscene” language toward civilians in a public place.
On a hot day in August 1944, nine combat officers assembled to hear the evidence in a courtroom at Camp Hood in Texas to decide the lieutenant’s fate. Read more.
Cold as Ice - Unsolved Boston Murders
Discussion at Lynnfield Historical Society
Read: "A New Chapter"
“Who’s the No. 1 comedian working today?” Appeals Court Judge R. Marc Kantrowitz asks more than a dozen wide-eyed, mostly young law clerks seated around a long conference-room table. A few moments of tense silence follow. This, after all, is a bit less serious of a query than a judge might typically pose to a student clerk, so it takes a few seconds to warm to the task. Read more.
About the author
R. Marc Kantrowitz is the most highly published lawyer on state law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He has written numerous books on criminal law, motor vehicle tort law, juvenile law, evidence, and mental health, as well as numerous law-related articles. He also writes a column entitled Law 'n History.
To listen to the latest podcast from R. Marc Kantrowitz, "Ponzi Scheme: The Notorious Namesake," click here.
For previous podcasts, click here.
Old Whiskey and Young Women
“Murder and mystery, society, sex and suspense were combined in this case in such a manner as to intrigue and captivate the public fancy to a degree perhaps unparalleled in recent annals.” Ohio vs. Sheppard, 165 Ohio St. 293, 294 (1956).
While this should no longer occur in a criminal trial, it can in a book. And this is the book in which it does.
Here, some of the most notorious legal cases in American history are explored. What they have in common is that they titillated, if not repulsed, the entire nation when they first occurred. What they still have in common is that, for the most part, they are today nearly totally forgotten.
From the unfair framing for murder of America’s most famous comedian, to America’s first capital case involving an older woman and her much younger lover murdering her husband, to Mad Harry Thaw, the wealthy and mad son of a steel magnate, killing America’s foremost architect over a beautiful woman, all come to life in gripping detail and drama. And meet the real Norman Bates of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, whose mother fixation and real life gruesome crimes far outmatched those of any fictional character.
This book brings to life these notorious characters and many more from the rich pages of history.
Law 'n History
R. Marc Kantrowitz writes a column entitled "Law 'n History" for Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, the Patriot Ledger, and the sister publications of both. His goal for these articles is to have the reader look at history through a different view. He likes to pick topics about past events that people know little about, himself included. Through his writing he likes to show readers that people are generally the same today as they were hundreds of years ago; the smart, wise and generous vying against the petty, vengeful and stupid. Read more.