Tuesday, July 10, 2012

History Repeats Itself

The most notorious trial in Vermont judicial history is State v. Boorn (1819). 

It is notorious because the murder victim, Russell Colvin, walked back into town exactly one month before Defendant Stephen Boorn was scheduled to be hung for killing him.  

Colvin's reappearance sent shock waves through the legal community, and left the Vermont judiciary with a black eye, as commentators criticized the Vermont Supreme Court for allowing the conviction in spite of the lack of a dead body, the admission of coerced confessions, and what the public came to believe was a prosecution that depended on dreams as evidence and public hysteria as a trigger for judicial action.

On Friday, July 13, 2012 at 2pm at the Manchester Court House, the Vermont Judicial History Society will put on a mock trial where Boorn will seek damages from the State of Vermont for the wrongful imprisonment that he suffered. You are invited to join us and participate in history.

As in the past, when the VJHS has held these sessions, once the Court has given its instructions, the impaneled jury will deliberate openly, from within the jury box, so that the audience can follow its reasoning.  After that, the audience will be invited to give its impressions about the process.  An essay on the original Boorn trial is available electronically by email by writing pgillies@tgrvt.com or by calling Paul Gillies at 223-1112 x 103.

This event is jointly sponsored by the Vermont Bar Association and the Vermont Judicial History Society.  The courthouse is being made available to us through the generosity of the Assistant Judges of the Bennington Court.  There is no requirement for registration.  CLE credits are available to all who attend.

1 comment:

  1. Is the subject connected with your professional status or is it more about your leisure and ways to spend your spare time?