According to conventional wisdom, Abraham Lincoln spent most of his law career collecting debt and representing railroads, and this focus made him inept at defending homicide cases. Through careful examination of Lincoln’s homicide cases and evaluation of his legal skills, Dekle demonstrates that Lincoln was first and foremost a trial lawyer. The trial of accused criminals was an important part of his practice, and Lincoln was quite capable of defending murder cases. Providing insight into both Lincoln’s legal career and the culture in which he practiced law, Prairie Defender resolves the misconception concerning Lincoln’s competency as a criminal defense attorney.
For thirty years, George R. Dekle, Sr., worked as an assistant state attorney in the Third Judicial Circuit of Florida, where he prosecuted hundreds of homicide cases, and for the past ten years he served as the director of the prosecution clinic at the University of Florida Law School. He is the author of The Last Murder: The Investigation, Prosecution, and Execution of Ted Bundy and Abraham Lincoln’s Most Famous Case: The Almanac Trial.