Friday, November 21, 2008

Administering Justice: Homos

While trugging away through some research today, I found the only occasion on which a woman could serve as a member of a jury up until we were kindly given the rights by the State:
*2. Propter defectum; as if a juryman be an alien born, this is defect of birth; if he be a slave or bondman, this is defect of liberty, and he cannot be liber et legalis homo. Under the word homo, also, though a name common to both sexes, the female is however excluded, propter defectum sexus: except when a widow feigns herself with child, in order to exclude the next heir, and a suppositions birth is suspected to be intended; then upon the writ de ventre inspiciendo, a jury of women is to be impanelled to try the question, whether with child or not.
Lord Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England.

Utterly, utterly, utterly bizarre. I plan to find out more about such "exceptions" that allowed women to partake of the rights of men.

Even better: While looking for translations, I also found out that you can translate your google into Elmer Fudd. Brilliant.

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