Brandon Moon was a 25-year-old college student at the University of Texas at El Paso in 1988 when he was convicted of rape and sentenced to 75 years in prison. Last December, after 16 years behind bars, he was released following conclusive DNA testing that proved his innocence.
For 19th century printers, crime was good business. Brutal murders and other horrific crimes translated into profit when they became the subjects of single-page printings. Today close to 400 of these broadsides, most printed in England from 1820 to 1860, are preserved in an HLS library collection. They highlight acts of wrongdoing, purported confessions from the accused (often set in verse), and accounts of trials and public executions. Many are illustrated with woodcuts. Continue Reading