February 23, 2005
"Astonishing, Disturbing and Subversive"

poor mary

Evans, E.P. The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1906.

This pioneering work in English brings together an amazing assemblage of court cases in which animals have been named as defendants--chickens, rats, field mice, bees, gnats, and (in 34 recorded instances) pigs, among others--providing insight into such modern issues as animal rights, capital punishment, and social and criminal theory. Evans suggests an intriguing distinction between trials of specific animals or particular crimes (the ""murder"" of an infant by a pig, for example) and trials of animals for larger, catastrophic events such as plagues and infestations.

Posted by jjwiseman at February 23, 2005 11:59 PM
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