Vermont Judicial History Seminar to feature mock trial of State v. Boorn

For immediate release

July 10, 2012

Paul Gillies,
Vermont Judicial History Society
[email protected]

The VJHS Announces Its Seventeenth Annual Vermont Judicial History Seminar

Montpelier, Vt.—On Friday, July 13, 2012 at 2pm at the Manchester Court House, the Vermont Judicial History Society will put on a mock trial where Stephen Boorn will seek damages from the State of Vermont for the wrongful imprisonment that he suffered. You are invited to join us and participate in history.

The case of State v. Boorn (1819) is the most notorious trial in Vermont judicial history. Following a sensational murder trial, the victim, Russell Colvin, walked back into town exactly one month before Defendant Stephen Boorn was scheduled to be hung for killing him. Colvin’s reappearance sent shock waves through the legal community, and left the Vermont judiciary with a black eye, as commentators criticized the Vermont Supreme Court for allowing the conviction in spite of the lack of a dead body, the admission of coerced confessions, and what the public came to believe was a prosecution that depended on dreams as evidence and public hysteria as a trigger for judicial action.

This event is jointly sponsored by the Vermont Bar Association and the VJHS. The courthouse is being made available through the generosity of the Assistant Judges of the Bennington Court. There is no requirement for registration. CLE credits are available to all who attend.

Since 1995, the non-profit Vermont Judicial Historical Society has promoted public awareness of the judiciary and Vermont’s legal history through annual mock trial featuring practicing attorneys and judges. For more information about this event or the VJHS, please contact: Paul Gillies at (802) 223-1112.

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