Tuesday, June 11, 2013

the last book I ever read (The Accursed by Joyce Carol Oates, excerpt seven)

from The Accursed by Joyce Carol Oates:

Josiah is well aware that dueling is illegal—it is a class-A felony—in the State of New Jersey. Already in the time of the infamous duel of Aaron Burr, Jr., and Alexander Hamilton, in 1804, dueling was a class-A felony in the State of New York, though somewhat less stringently outlawed in New Jersey, where the duel was set, in Weehawken. In Southern states, where laws are legislated with an eye toward preserving “tradition”—(statutory laws banning miscegenation, for instance, and “sodomy”)—law enforcement officers are less likely to seize and arrest dueling gentlemen, as they are less likely to seize and arrest individuals who have participated in “lynchings” of Negroes, still less are juries likely to vote such individuals guilty.

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