26 October 1881

Did you know that today is the 136th anniversary of the historic gun battle between a group of outlaws led by Billy Clanton and the McLaury brothers and a group of lawmen led by Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona Territory? Our friend and colleague Steven Lubet, who brought this fact to our attention, wrote an entire book about this episode and the legal repercussions and miscarriage of justice that occurred after the dust settled. He has also blogged about this historic event here: “Although the shootout is legendary, it is less well known that Wyatt Earp and his brothers, and Doc Holliday, were prosecuted afterward for the murder of Billy Clanton and Tom and Frank McLaury. The Earps were represented by Tom Fitch, one of the most accomplished trial lawyers of the late nineteenth century, who fortuitously happened to be living in Tombstone at the time. The evidence against the Earps and Holliday included eyewitness testimony from the county sheriff, who said that the dead men had been trying to surrender when they were shot down, but Fitch’s brilliant lawyering managed to get the case dismissed at the preliminary hearing.” 

About F. E. Guerra-Pujol

When I’m not blogging, I am a business law professor at the University of Central Florida.
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