Wednesday, April 21, 2004

100 World Trials

Just finished Edward W. Knappman's Great World Trials which highlights 100 of the most significant court cases. There's a companion book which features American trials which I'd like to see but this kept me busy a while. Are there any trials listed here that aren't really significant or any that Knappman left out? (The cases that occurred to me turned out never to have been settled in a court room.) Some might argue but I'd have to say that no trial had a greater overall impact than J. Christ v. P. Pilate (A.D. 33).

Alcibiades Trial (415 B.C.) Athenian sentenced to death amid the struggle with Sparta
Socrates Trials (399 B.C.)
Gaius Verres Trial (70 B.C.) Roman governor of Sicily charged with misrule by Cicero
Jesus of Nazareth Trial (A.D. 33)

Joan of Arc Trial (1431)
Martin Luther Trial (1521)
Thomas More Trial (1535)
Michael Servetus Trial (1553) Heretic caught in conflict between John Calvin and Catholicism
Martin Guerre Trials (1560) See the movie
Mary, Queen of Scots Trial (1586)
Giordano Bruno Trials (1592, 1600)

Walter Raleigh Trials (1603, 1618)
Gunpowder Plot Trial (1606)
Galileo Trial (1633)
Charles I Trial (1649)
John Byng Court-Martial (1756-57) British admiral made a scapegoat and killed for military loss
Bounty Mutineers Court-Martial (1792)
Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette Trials (1792, 1793)
Charlotte Corday Trial (1793)

Daniel M'Naghten Trial (1843) Landmark case for insanity pleas
Daniel O'Connell Trial (1844) England railroads Irish leader of independence through peace; hello IRA
William Kirwan Trial (1852) Irish murder case in which forensic medicine comes to forefront; hello CSI
Whistler v. Ruskin (1878) artist sues sexless freak critic for libel
Ned Kelly Trial (1880)
Alexander II's Assassin's Trial (1881)
Adelaide Bartlett Trial (1889) British wife accused of poisoning her husband
Florence Maybrick Trial (1889) Another wife accused of poisoning husband; sparked major legal reform
O'Shea v. Parnell and O'Shea (1890) Messy Irish divorce in British courts
William Gordon-Cumming v. Stanley Wilson, Berkeley Levett, and Others (1891) Century before Clinton/Starr, the Prince of Wales is brought to give testimony in a civil suit
Thomas Neill Cream Trial (1892) Serial blackmailer/incompetent abortionist/killer sentenced to death in England; last words "I am Jack the—," a liar to the end; he was serving time in Joliet while Jack was killing in Whitechapel
Alfred Dreyfus Trials (1894, 1899)
Oscar Wilde Trials (1895)
Emile Zola Trial (1898) French writer wrongfully convicted of slander for defending Dreyfus

Stinie Morrison Trial (1911) petty criminal commits senseless perjury on the witness stand; (probably) convicted of murder
Titanic Inquiry (1912)
Henriette Caillaux Trial (1914) French woman charged with killing editor who wronged her husband
Archduke Franz Ferdinand's Assassins Trial (1914)
Edith Cavell Trial (1915) English nurse executed by Germans during WWI
Roger Casement Trial (1916) Irish separatist accused of plotting with Germans
Mata Hari Trial (1917)
Rosa Luxemburg's Assassins Trial (1919) Germans half-ass prosecution against Lenin-hating socialist activist
Mohandas Gandhi Trial (1922)
Herbert Armstrong Trial (1922) first English solicitor hung for murder

Hitler's "Beer Hall" Putsch Trial (1924)
Ysuyoshi Inukai's Assassin Trial (1933) Japanese premier assassinated; paves way for military rule
Reichstag Fire Trial (1933)
Moscow Purge Trials (1936-38)
Leon Trotsky's Assassin Trial (1940-43)
Anti-Hitler Conspirators Trial (1944)
Henri Philippe Petain and Pierre Laval Trial (1945-46)
Vidkun Quisling Trial (1945)
William Joyce Trial (1945) Lord Haw-Haw was never legally an English citizen
Nuremburg Trial (1945-46)
Tokyo War Crimes Trial (1946-48)

Mohandas Gandhi's Assassins Trial (1948)
Victor Kravchenko Trial (1949) Soviet defector accused of libel for writing tell-all book about U.S.S.R.
Jozsef Cardinal Mindszenty Trial (1949) Soviets make martyr of Hungarian cardinal
Jomo Kenyatta Trial (1952-53) British rig trials of Kenyans for Mau Mau uprising
Fidel Castro Trial (1953) Smooth move Batista
Milovan Djilas Trial (1956) Yugoslavian communists charge former revolutionist with slander
Cuban Revolutionary Tribunals (1959)
Steven Truscott Trial (1959) 14-year old sentenced to death; legal debate and reform follow
Francis Gary Powers Trial (1960)
Portland Naval Spy Ring Trial (1961) British Cold War espionage
Adolf Eichmann Trial (1961)
Obafemi Awolowo Trial (1962) charges against Nigerian chief shake the nation
De Gaulle Assassination Conspirators Trial (1963)
Nelson Mandela Trial (1963-64) Modern version of the trials of Socrates and Jesus
Regis Debray Trial (1967) Bolivia charges Debray with "exporting" Cuban communism; gaining sympathy for his cause
Baader-Meinhof Trial (1975-77) West Germany charges Marxist terrorists string of crimes, prompting more terrorism including assassination of a federal prosecutor
Guildford Four Trial (1975) IRA bombing brings out British version of Patriot Act; all four were cleared in 1993 (maybe we'll clear out Gitmo by 2019)
Vaclav Havel Trials (1977-89) Communist leadership in Czechoslovakia charge future president with sedition
Anatoly Schcharansky and Alexandr Ginzburg Trials (1978) Russian attempt to intimidate Jewish and human rights activists

Jiang Quing and the Gang of Four Trial (1980)
Isabel Peron Trial (1981) Argentina military takes power from Peronists by attacking former president
Paul Wakwaro Ekai Trial (1981) Murder trial of the killer of Born Free writer
Mehmet Ali Agca Trials (1981, 1985-86) Would-be assassin of Pope John Paul II
Red Brigades Trial (1982-83)
Lindy and Michael Chamberlain Trial (1982) "The dingo has got my baby!"
Argentina's "Dirty War" Trial (1985)
Indira Gandhi's Assassins Trial (1985-86)
Sharpeville Six Trial (1985) Apartheid tactics brought international notice to six scapegoats
Sicilian Mafiosi Trial (1986-87)
Peter Wright (Spycatcher) Trials (1986-88) British attempt to censor book written by former spy
Jean-Bedel Bokassa Trial (1986-87) Former president of Central African Republic charged with all manners of crimes against humanity including eating his subjects
John Demjanjuk Trial (1987) Ivan the Terrible?
Klaus Barbie Trial (1987)
Beirut Hijacking Trial (1988-89)
Carl Gustav Christer Pettersson Trial (1989) First Swedish political assassination since 1792
Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu Trial (1989)

South African Police Death Squads Libel Trial (1991) Libel suit forces South Africa to admit to existence of death squads
Tiananmen Square Dissidents Trial (1991)
David Milgaard Hearing (1992) Canadian law allows for release of convicted killer
Sue Rodriguez Appeal (1993) Canadian case over assisted suicide laws
Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo Trials (1993, 1995) Canadian serial killer/rapist case sparks legal reforms
Robert Thompson and Jon Venables Trial (1993) Two pre-teens in England murder a three year old
Rosemary West Trial (1995) British female serial killer
Navy Seaman Marcus D. Gill, Marine Pfc. Roderico Harp, and Marine Pfc. Kendrick M. Ledet Trial (1995-96) U.S. servicemen rape 12-year old girl in Okinawa
Lori Bereson Trial (1996) American woman sentenced to life imprisonment in possibly rigged Peruvian court
Yigal Amir Trial (1996) Assassin of Yitzhak Rabin

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