The idea that people have a right to defend themselves—even using force that would otherwise be illegal—harks back centuries to English common law, which formed the basis of the American legal system. We navigate the murky and still-evolving world of self-defense laws in the U.S.
On January 27, 2018, 34-year-old Bryan Lawson shot and killed his wife, Beth Lawson, in their Tennessee home, the explosively violent climax to their abusive relationship. Many would assume Bryan was the abuser, inflicting brutality against Beth. But it was actually Beth—a former National Guard service member—who regularly assaulted Bryan, who was disabled.
We asked courtroom artist and fine-art painter Jane Rosenberg what it's like to have a front row seat at some of the biggest trials of our time, why she never travels without a razor (but never in court), and what she expects at the upcoming Bill Cosby trial.