The Salem Witch Trials: Casting a Spell of Hysteria

Culture & Law, Law Journal Library, Religion & the Law, Session Laws, World Trials
Lauren Zazzara

How many times have you suspected that your neighbor was casting spells in their backyard? Or your best friend was talking to spirits? Or your own mother was possessed by the devil? In 1692 Salem, Massachusetts, accusing someone of witchcraft quickly became a common occurrence. Mass hysteria and paranoia combined with a rudimentary legal system meant that anyone could be convicted of being a witch—and sentenced to death because of it.

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Witchcraft has been a subject of interest, derision, fear, and speculation since before our nation was built—and lucky for you…

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Banned Books Week: Protecting the Right to Read

Culture & Law, Fastcase, U.S. Supreme Court
Lauren Zazzara

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The Holy Bible. Of Mice and Men. The Harry Potter series. Seemingly all books that don’t have too much in common. Except, at one time or another, people fought for them to be removed from libraries and school curriculum.

This week marks Banned Books Week, celebrated annually at the end of September to honor our freedom to read and the importance of free access to information, whether or not we personally agree with it. Banned Books Week, the theme of which this year is “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us,” is sponsored by a variety of organizations…

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I Saw A Tiger … in My Neighbor’s Backyard

Animal Law, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Culture & Law, Exploring HeinOnline, Fastcase, Federal Register, Popular Culture, Treaties and Agreements Library, U.S. Congressional Documents
Stephanie Ruesch

In the early days of quarantine, nearly a hundred years ago, all the way back at the end of March, one thing united us all. No, not the sewing struggle to make our own masks or collective worrying over when we would ever see a roll of Charmin in the wild again. It was Tiger King. The true crime-character study-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it docuseries had more than 34 million views in the U.S. within its first 10 days on Netflix, and was an inescapable recommendation, topic of discussion, and fodder for many quality memes.

In case you somehow missed out, a brief synopsis: Tiger King chronicles the years-long feud between Oklahoma private zoo owner Joe Exotic (real name: Joseph Maldonado-Passage…

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