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The Lincoln AssassinationCrime and Punishment, Myth and Memory A Lincoln Forum Book$
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Harold Holzer, Craig L. Symonds, and Frank J. Williams

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780823232260

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823232260.001.0001

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Process versus Truth in the Case of the Lincoln Conspiracy

Process versus Truth in the Case of the Lincoln Conspiracy

Chapter:
(p.195) Chapter 8 Process versus Truth in the Case of the Lincoln Conspiracy
Source:
The Lincoln Assassination
Author(s):

Michael W. Kauffman

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fso/9780823232260.003.0009

This chapter deftly points out the differences between current rules of evidence and those that applied in 1865—suggesting that many facts remained undisclosed at the Lincoln assassination trial. It shows how the search for the truth after Lincoln's murder was frustratingly thwarted by a lack of discovery, by prejudicial rulings against the defense by the commission, and by rules that limited the testimony of witnesses favorable to the defense. To an audience that has grown up watching legal shows on television, the rules of evidence in effect in 1865 will come as a major surprise. Without doubt they affected the course of the proceedings, as well as the reputation of the commission's work in history.

Keywords:   Abraham Lincoln, assassination trial, rules of evidence, testimony

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