By Suzanne Vega (edited by Milton Okun)
As recorded by means of Suzanne Vega on A&M Records;
introduction by way of Bruce Pollock
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Extra resources for Days of Open Hand
16–17; ML, City of Glasgow Police Criminal Returns for the Year Ending 31st December 1880, pp. 14–15; ML, City of Glasgow Police Criminal Returns for the Year Ending 31st December 1880, pp. 14–15; ML, City of Glasgow Police Criminal Returns for the Year Ending 31st December 1890, pp. 14–15. 6 Men’s Fines and Imprisonment for Simple Assault, Edinburgh, 1880† FINES Number of Men (% of total fined or imprisoned) Under 5s 0 From 5s to 10s 14 (5%) From 10s to 20s 109 (38%) From 20s to 40s 142 (50%) From 40s to £5 16 (7%) £5 and above 1 (less than 1%) Total number of men fined 284 (72% of all men fined or imprisoned) IMPRISONMENT Under 3 days 0 From 3 to 10 days 5 (4%) From 10 to 20 days 47 (42%) From 20 to 30 days 8 (7%) From 30 to 60 days 42 (37%) 60 days 10 (9%) Total number of men imprisoned 112 (28% of all men fined or imprisoned) † ECL, Return of Crimes and Offences Reported, Persons Apprehended and Cited, and Miscellaneous Returns connected with the Police, for the Year Ending 31st December 1880, Table 6.
This determined which court was eligible to prosecute the case. Whereas assaults to the danger of one’s life, or where lethal weapons were used, were considered to be crimes that should be remitted to higher courts, ‘simple assaults’ were deemed offences that could be disposed of within the police court. If weapons were not involved, it was thus the degree of violent damage inflicted on a victim that signalled to the police The Scotsman, 20 March 1824. 35 Police Courts in Nineteenth-Century Scotland, Volume 2 28 office which court was competent to hear the case.
The chapter aims instead to trace how violence was constructed in relation to social ideologies, geographical locations, legal factors and practical pressures, as it was prosecuted and punished by police courts. The violent offences which were prosecuted in police courts were those deemed less serious, such as common assault and disorderly and aggressive conduct, and excluded serious assault, such as violent sexual assault, grievous bodily harm and battery with intent to rob. The chapter contends that meanings of violence as well as its perceived victims were to change over the course of the nineteenth century, bringing new populations to the court as they were deemed vulnerable to, or susceptible to, violence.
Days of Open Hand by Suzanne Vega (edited by Milton Okun)