Saturday, May 07, 2005

A murder in Virginia, 1895

I've been reading A Murder in Virginia: Southern Justice on Trial (2003) by Suzanne Lebsock. The book is about an 1895 murder case in Lunenberg County, Virginia, for which three black women and a black man were accused of committing the crime. It is, among other things, an excellent book about lawyering and the courts, remarkable in its account of the yin and the yang, the ebb and flo, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, or what I sometimes call the hockey game aspect of litigation, as the cases proceeded through trial and retrial, verdict and appeal. It is also a history book, a snapshot of race relations in the Southside 30 years after the end of the Civil War. The book is full of surprises and interesting characters.

There were no NHL play-offs this year, and might never be again for all I know, but it can be exciting, overtime in a play-off game, with the play moving back and forth, up and down the ice, and the game can end at any moment.

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