Friday, March 31, 2006

"The Count of Monte Cristo"

Jonathan Freiman suggested a novel that captures what life might be like when the sovereign is unencumbered by habeas corpus protections:
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, père.
There’s a useful plot summary of the novel here.

The French Literature Online Library makes available a free online edition of The Count of Monte Cristo here.

If the novel leaves you unmoved about the plight of a man wrongly accused and imprisoned—it’s only a story, after all—consider: Dumas got the idea from an actual case of a Parisian shoemaker who was engaged to be married until four friends accused him of spying for England. He spent seven years in jail before he was freed.

Jonathan Freiman works jointly as a litigator and appellate advocate at Wiggin and Dana and as Senior Fellow and Clinical Advisor at Yale Law School's Schell Center for International Human Rights.

He co-teaches a class at Yale Law School with Dean Harold H. Koh on appellate litigation and strategy, with a focus on the interplay between national security and civil liberties. His legal analysis has appeared widely in journals, newspapers, magazines, radio and television. His most recent publication, "A Brave New World for ADR?: In NAFTA Arbitration, Even High Court Rulings May One Day Be Set Aside" (2005) (with B.Jacoby), was the cover article to a special ADR section of the National Law Journal.

Thanks to Jonathan for the suggestion.

Got a novel that depicts life in a society where the sovereign can toss someone in prison without presenting evidence before a judge? Recommend it—and gives us a short spiel for why it fits that category—and you might win a copy of The Body and the State: Habeas Corpus and American Jurisprudence (SUNY Press, 2006). Details here and here.

--Marshal Zeringue