Tuesday, January 11, 2005

How Long Did the Typical English Criminal Trial before the Lawyers Last?

In a recent book review, "Though the Heavens May Fall'" and "Bury the Chains": Freed, NYTimes Sunday Book Review (Jan. 9, 2005), Marilynne Robinson wrote:
More insight into the actual operations of the law would have been useful -- some discussion, for example, of the yawning gulf between the principle of the right to trial and the fact that in early-19th-century England, an average felony trial lasted less than nine minutes, sometimes ending so quickly that the accused did not know he had been tried.
Does someone in cyberland have documentation for this point, please? I am interested in the point because I am skeptical of the praises that Prof. John Langbein sings for the English criminal trial before lawyers began representing defendants in felony cases.

Thank you!

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