Night Court

by Fred on 8-11-2009 Category: Miscellany

Rob Lopresti posted an excerpt from A Man in Court by Frederic DeWitt Wells at Criminal Brief. It describes a typical session of Night Court in New York City around 1917. Interesting stuff.

In the Night Court the drama is vital and throbbing. As the saddest object to contemplate is a play where the essentials are wrong, so in this court the fundamentals of the law are the cause of making it an uncomfortable and pathetic spectacle.

The women who are brought before the Night Court are not heroines, but the criminal law does not seem better than they. It makes little attempt to mitigate any of the wretchedness that it judges; in many cases it moves only to inflict an additional burden of suffering. The result is tragedy.

Go to Criminal Brief to read the rest.