In Verdicts of History, New York Times bestselling historian Thomas Fleming highlights six courtroom dramas that changed the future of America. From unexpected verdicts, like the acquittal won by John Adams when he defended British soldiers charged with the Boston Massacre in 1770 to stirred passions when abolitionist John Brown was convicted of murder – a precedent to the Civil War – to the breakthrough in racial relations when Clarence Darrow won a stunning “not guilty” verdict for black physician Ossian Sweet – at a time when black Americans could hardly expect a fair trial. Fleming also includes the trials of Aaron Burr for treason and a well-known congressman for murder. In courtrooms throughout the nation’s history, vivid emotion and heated rhetoric have established consequential precedents and enlarged average men and women to historical dimensions.
Available for a limited time