Introduction

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Description: In the present special issue, we offer a concentration of studies that begin with a consideration of the responsibility law owes to ethics and range from examinations of law in such literature as Anthony Trollope's Phineas Redux, Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes mysteries, and the political writings of Samuel Coleridge to constructions of legal decisions invoking race and law in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), Brown v. Board of Education (1954), and Parents Involved v. Seattle (2007), addressing jury issues in the trials of John Peter Zenger (1735) and Eleazer Oswald (1783), raising issues of sexual conduct in the trials of Oscar Wilde (1895), and considering serial murder in the trial of Dr. Thomas Cream (1892). The jury treated as a central figure of eighteenth-century law provides a means to examine the relationship of judges and lawyers and shifts in their authority over the jury.The juror's role as neighbor implies a common man approach that confronts an elite perspective on the law, humanizes the law (examined through the novel Modern Chivalry and the legal handbook Law's Miscellanies, both by Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Hugh Henry Brackenridge), even as it contributes to legal protections for the accused and to the development of rules of evidence and rules for witness testimony.
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