Information about famous court cases

Web and print sources on famous court cases.

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Best bet

Famous trials, UMKC School of Law.
Detailed information on well-known cases from ancient times to today.

Oyez, Cornell’s Legal Information Institute, Justia, and Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Oyez offers full-text Supreme Court cases and summaries, audio recordings, transcripts, and more.

Famous cases

American Museum of Tort Law online tours, American Museum of Tort Law.
The American Museum of Tort Law website showcases important cases in US tort law history.

Arrest and trial of Lizzie Borden: Topics in chronicling America, Library of Congress.
The Lizzie Borden murder trial of 1892 highlighted issues about gender, class, and how the justice system handles sensational crimes.

The case of Sacco & Vanzetti, Mass. Supreme Judicial Court.
Covers the 1920s Sacco and Vanzetti trial. This case involved two Italian immigrants accused of robbery and murder. The case also revealed concerns about prejudice and unfair treatment in the American legal system.

Historic Supreme Court decisions by party name, Cornell Legal Information Institute.

Massachusetts Constitution and the abolition of slavery, Mass. Supreme Judicial Court.
In a series of cases called "the Quock Walker case," the Supreme Judicial Court used judicial review to end slavery in Massachusetts.

Salem witch trials documentary archive and transcription project, The University of Virginia.
The 1692 Salem Witch Trials is a famous example of unjust persecution as well as the dangers of intolerance, fear, and misuse of power in society.

Trial of Jane Toppan, Lowell Historical Society.
The 1902 Jane Toppan murder trial spurred conversations about mental health, trust in medical professionals, and healthcare supervision. You can also find transcripts of this case online.

Print sources

America on trial: inside the legal battles that transformed our nation, by Alan Dershowitz, Warner Books, 2004.

Great American court cases, Gale Group, 4 v., 1999.

Great American trials, Gale Group, 2002.

Law makers, law breakers, and uncommon trials, by Robert Aitken, American Bar Association, 2007.

The Sacco-Vanzetti affair: America on trial, by Moshik Temkin, Yale University Press, 2009.

A storm of witchcraft: the Salem trials and the American experience, by Emerson Baker, Oxford University Press, 2015.

The trial of Lizzie Borden: a true story, by Cara Robertson, Simon and Schuster, 2019.

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Last updated: April 23, 2024

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