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Murder at Harvard Medical School

Thursday, April 13, 2023 @ 7:00 pm


The Medford Historical Society & Museum presents a talk by Dennis J. Curran, a retired justice from the Massachusetts Superior Court, on the 1850 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court case Commonwealth v. Webster. This case, about the murder of Boston physician George Parkman at Harvard Medical School, established the legal principal “proof beyond a reasonable doubt,” a requirement since adopted by most other states. This was the first trial to use forensic science, forensic evidence, forensic experts and dental forensic evidence in trial. It also defined “murder” and “manslaughter.”  Few, if any, cases have produced the number of fundamental legal principles used throughout our nation today as Commonwealth v. Webster.  This presentation will address the compelling and intriguing facts behind this landmark decision on so many issues in criminal jurisprudence. Register through Eventbrite.


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