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Lecture 4

LY100 Lecture 4: LY100 4

3 Pages

Law & Society
Course Code
Gallagher- Mackay

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LY100 class 4 Context questions Why look at history in law? - Denaturalize “taken for granted” parts of our social worlds recognise that current institutions arise from past decisions - Easier to see/ critique patterns in historical context than in our muddy present - Challenge or reflect on an idea of progress - Look at the bigger picture - Evidence on what happened / what worked, what didn’t? (evaluate) - Precedent set examples for laws - Wounded womanhood and dead men “Residents of Toronto in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries might quite legitimately have assumed that women could get away with murder” (p.149) • Detailed, partly contrasting, account of two trials, in 1895, 1915 of women who were aquitted of murder – with sexual violence against them as subtext • Clara Ford – mixed race seamstress mother, under pressure, confessed to police that she had shot wealthy young man who had ‘insulted’ her • Carrie Davis – white domestic, British immigrant teen shot employer after repeated attempts at sexual assault • Carrie Davis • “English working girl” supported by Bedford Fraternal Association, popular sympathy • Truth of confession supported by her good character as innocent maiden • “Of all the soldiers fighting for the King… ‘none of them more faithfully defended the honour of Empire than this girl defended her own honour.’ When: 1895 was the first trial other one was 25 years later Where: Toronto Legal process: Trials Who: feminist scholar philosopher Evidence: media coverage and trial coverage Chivalric justice o Chivalric justice perpetuates female and male stereotypes since it upholds the ideas if feminine frailty and masculine heroism; at the same time, it affirms the class and race privilege of the mem who wiled the power to protect and the option to pardon. Race and class on trial o Race made a difference o KEY fact in both these cases is that the women were subject to sexual violence before the murders. YET not directly raised at trial. How did class matterRepresentation, lawyers, jury members - Intersectionality - “The interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.” K. Crenshaw, 1989 Mercy vs justice No legal system maintains its legitimacy unless mercy tempers severity. parodic compassionate judgments dramatize the power of the law to rectify inequalities outside the courtroom. They maintain the illusion that even the lowest citizen’s women, the poor, and people of colour are equal before the law. Merciful judgments do not, however, correct systemic inequality o Girls getting out of tickets o White men in corporate Laws response to sexual violence Nether woman though that Turing to the law would produce a positive outcome. And the another had good support that it was
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