By Benjamin Carter Hett
From Alexanderplatz, the bustling Berlin sq. ringed via bleak slums, to Moabit, web site of the city's so much feared legal, dying within the Tiergarten illuminates the tradition of legal justice in overdue imperial Germany. In shiny prose, Benjamin Hett examines day-by-day circulate during the Berlin legal courts and the legal professionals, judges, jurors, thieves, pimps, and murderers who inhabited this international. Drawing on formerly untapped resources, together with court docket documents, pamphlet literature, and pulp novels, Hett examines how the legislation mirrored the wider city tradition and politics of a swiftly altering urban. during this publication, German felony legislation appears to be like very varied from traditional narratives of a inflexible, static procedure with authoritarian continuities traceable from Bismarck to Hitler. From the homicide trial of Anna and Hermann Heinze in 1891 to the remarkable remedy of the infamous Captain of Koepenick in 1906, Hett illuminates a change within the felony justice process that unleashed a tradition battle fought over problems with permissiveness as opposed to self-discipline, the limits of public dialogue of crime and sexuality, and the position of gender within the courts. expert in either the legislations and heritage, Hett deals a uniquely helpful viewpoint at the dynamic intersections of legislations and society, and provides a powerful new view of early twentieth-century German historical past.
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Additional info for Death in the Tiergarten: Murder and Criminal Justice in the Kaiser's Berlin
32 But other general principles governing the conduct of a German trial pointed toward an adversarial character. The most important of these was the so-called “legality principle” (Legalitätsprinzip), which worked together with the “indictment monopoly” (Anklagemonopol) of the state prosecutor’s ofﬁce. The legality principle required the state prosecutor’s ofﬁce to investigate any allegation of a criminal offense that was brought to its attention. The Code of Criminal Procedure also created a legal means by which a dissatisﬁed injured party could ask the court to compel the In Moabit 25 prosecutor to proceed with a case which he had abandoned.
The problem of the administration of criminal justice in the Wilhelmine era, then, was that of how to adapt these laws to a society which, within a few decades, had been utterly transformed economically, socially, and politically from its mid-nineteenth century condition. This task fell to the courts, and from the late 1880s to the First World War the way the courts applied the laws was likewise transformed. The Reich Criminal Code, drawn in large measure from the Prussian Criminal Code of 1851, represented the world view of mid-century liberals applied to crime.
The creation of the ofﬁce of the state prosecutor, and the associated legality principle and indictment monopoly, were meant to guard against the abuse of prosecutorial and inquisitorial discretion. These elements of the system were the more modern historically; public and oral trials, the jury, and the prosecutor’s ofﬁce had all been introduced into Prussian law by the energetic Minister of Law Reform, Friedrich Karl von Savigny, in the 1840s. 46 Judges, however, especially presiding judges, had a near-untrammeled power in the courtroom, a power of which defense lawyers and others often complained.