By Charles M. Sevilla
In America's courtooms, the decision is laughter.
Sit again and luxuriate in a set of verbatim exchanges from the halls of justice, the place defendants and plaintiffs, legal professionals and witnesses, juries and judges, collide to supply memorably insane comedy.
A: You mumbled at the first a part of that and that i couldn't comprehend what you have been announcing. may well you repeat the question?
Q: I mumbled, did I? good, we'll simply ask the court docket reporter to learn again what I stated. She didn't point out any challenge figuring out what I stated, so evidently she understood each observe. We'll simply have her learn my query again and discover if there has been any mumbling occurring. Madam reporter, may you be so kind?
Court Reporter: Mumble, mumble, mumble, mumble, mumble.
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Additional resources for Disorder in the Court: Great Fractured Moments in Courtroom History
1 * * * Their pessimism was justiﬁed. Katharina Kepler was accused at a time when witches were wildly feared and intensely persecuted. Statistics are notoriously difﬁcult to compile, but even the most reliable estimates remain shocking. About , men and women were tried for witchcraft and ,–, executed in Europe between and . Some ,–, were executed within the boundaries of present-day Germany between and the end of the persecution. Seventy-ﬁve per cent of those accused in Germany were female.
A local craftsman on the make, he was determined not to let this case ruin his life and, eventually, he withdrew from the defence. Relatives responded not only with compassion and love, but also uncertainty, fear, repudiation, and guilt, and could be overwhelmed by a sense of shame. They were involved not just as rational beings, but through their fantasies and dreams, as children of an alleged witch, and as siblings who took different sides in the drama that unfolded. Katharina Kepler, as well as her famous son, thus emerge as the kind of person we all are: part of a family that depends on us, hates or loves us, abandons or supports us.
INTRODUCTION R T he Astronomer and the Witch enters a haunted world in which almost everyone believed in the existence of witches and the devil (Figure ). Since the mid-s, studies of witchcraft have attempted to explain the mental climate of societies which faced extraordinary challenges during the height of the persecution, from to . Climatic changes led to some years of repeated harvest failures when extremely cold periods of winter and spring were followed by cold and wet summers.