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The Disappearance of Dr. Parkman: Blood and Ivy at the Harvard Medical School (Zoom Program)

Thursday, December 9, 2021 | 4:30pm - 5:30pm EST


Few, if any, cases have produced the number of fundamental legal principles used throughout our nation today than the Massachusetts 19th century murder trial of Commonwealth v. Webster.

A murder without a body, forensic dental testimony, handwriting experts, proof of character and reputation, malice, murder and manslaughter, consciousness of guilt, alibi, taking a view, juror bias and circumstantial evidence were all highlighted.

Perhaps the greatest contribution to the law was the formulation of a reasonable doubt jury instruction that has been used, often verbatim, in every criminal trial in Massachusetts for over 150 years.

This presentation will address the compelling and intriguing facts behind this landmark decision on so many issues in criminal jurisprudence.

Hon. Dennis J. Curran (ret.) is a Professor of the Practice of Political Science at Tufts University. He has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Roger Williams University School of Law and on its Board of Advisors. He also teaches at Brown University’s summer program.

Curran is a member of the National Board of Advisors of The Lincoln Forum. Other Board members include scholar and noted author Doris Kearns Goodwin, filmmaker Ken Burns and Presidential historian Michael R. Beschloss. Curran has also been elected a Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society; he is a member and lecturer of the Lincoln Group of Boston.

The Governor of Massachusetts first nominated Curran in 2002 as an Associate Justice to the District Court; he served in the newly-constructed Boston Municipal Court in 2003; and just three years later, the Governor nominated him as an Associate Justice of the Superior Court where he served for over a decade.


Thursday, December 9, 2021
4:30pm - 5:30pm EST
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