Page images
PDF
EPUB

momentary impulse, and many of these cannot be restrained because they cannot be singled out from among the common herd. They do not reveal their insanity, and they give no warning of impending danger. With the anarchist it is different. He boasts of his willingness and readiness to commit murder at any time when opportunity presents itself. He is always a murderer at heart. He should be given no chance to take life. He should be looked on as a menace to society and his tribe as ferine vermin.

Chicago* Tribune: Anarchists are always atheists. Their fundamental proposition that there is no rightful government begins with the assertion that there is no God. If there is no God there is no moral gpvernment of the world, and in the general chaos it is every man for himself. If anarchy has any logic, anything beside its brutal hatreds,

that is it.

********

It is a remarkable fact, and one that will not soon be forgotten, that just when the assassin imagines he was doing something to usher in the new social condition, in which there would be neither God nor government of any sort, there came from the heart of the President such an acknowledgment of God as had the effect to waken in the hearts of all the people such a sense of the relation of God to human affairs as had never before in our history found more impressive utterance.

Philadelphia Ledger: A conspiracy to commit crime is punishable under the laws of the states. The transactions at many of the anarchist meetings constitute breaches of the peace. Inciting others to commit crime is a breach of the peace and makes participants amenable to the penalties for an unlawful assembly. The penalties are insufficient for breaches of the peace committed by anarchists, but such laws as apply should be rigorously enforced until stronger legislation can be enacted. Since the lamentable occurrence which took place at Buffalo our law expounders have been ingenious in suggesting improvements of new legislation. These are ex post facto suggestions, and, unfortunately, do not apply to Czolgosz; but the police power can be invoked to make the propagation of anarchism much more difficult than it has been in the past.

Boston Transcript: It is a serious question whether protective measures should not be adopted in this country to check the growth of anarchism. The most obvious method of procedure that suggests itself is restraint upon immigration. But it is difficult to see how this remedy could be made immediately effective._ There are no earmarks by which an anarchist can be infallibly identified. If an anarchist were not disposed to confess himself as such he could not be prevented from entering this country. To be sure persons who had made themselves conspicuous in Europe as leaders or members of anarchistic societies could be refused admission. But something more than an immigration act is required to stamp out anarchism. So long as anarchists are allowed their present freedom of organization, meeting and publication, they will continue to flourish. Nothing short of complete abrogation of that freedom will accomplish any substantial results. They should be placed beyond the pale of the law. The formation of anarchistic chros should be prohibited; their publications should be suppressed and their leaders outlawed.

Washington Star: As for those reds now within this country the issue would rest between their direct expulsion or the enactment of laws calculated to render residence here unbearable for them. The choice between such alternatives need not be seriously difficult. The latter course recommends itself as the more effective of the two. For instance, this government can, by constitutional amendment, enlarge the definition of treason to cover attempts upon the life of the president and extend the range of treasonable crimes to permit the severe punishment of agitators who preach the destruction of governments and the murder of rulers. It can proscribe the holding of meetings and prevent the publication of journals devoted to the murder cult. It can prevent the deliverance of lectures such as those of Emma Goldman and her kind, intended to fire morbid minds with murderous intent. With such laws, enforced always with due regard for the enjoyment by citizens of the fundamental prerogatives of comment and criticism, this government could not only repress to a very large extent the diabolical doctrines which are poisoning thousands of minds today, but it could set an example of wise restrictions which, emulated by other powers, would render every portion of the civilized world an unsafe place in which to hatch conspiracies to murder.

CHAPTER XXX.

Trial and Condemnation of the Assassin.

INTRODUCTION TO TRIAL.

Respect for the law dominates the American people, and this was shown in the disposition of Leon Czolgosz. Saved from the fury of a mob, late an admiring, cheering throng, through the prompt intervention of the detectives, and hurried away to a dungeon at police headquarters, the assassin was given a speedy, fair and dignified trial, without any of the delays and disgraceful scenes that attended that of Guiteau.

Placed in the "sweat box," as searching examinations by the detectives are designated, the prisoner maintained a stolid demeanor, declaring that he had no accomplices. As no defense save insanity could reasonably be set up, the mental condition of Czolgosz was critically investigated, many experts being called to examine him. On September 9 he was declared to be sane. Dr. Carlos MacDonald, of New York, an insanity expert of wide reputation, saw the prisoner on September 21 and declared that he was not insane. It was understood that Dr. MacDonald was acting in the interests of justice, preparing himself to testify in the murderer's behalf, had he found him not accountable for his awful act. The following day Dr. MacDonald, assisted by Dr. Heard, a famous alienist, and Dr. James W. Putnam, of Buffalo, made a second examination, with the same result.

On September 16 the grand jury found an indictment against Czolgosz, charging him with murder in the first degree. This was immediately returned to Judge Emery, in the county court. Soon afterward the prisoner was brought to the jail in a carriage from the penitentiary, a mile distant. From the jail he was taken through a tunnel to the city hall, where the court was in session. This precaution was taken to avoid crowds of incensed people. He was shackled and held his eyes in a downcast position, and, in the opinion of alienists, was shamming insanity.

District Attorney Penney informed him that an indictment had been found against him and asked him if he wanted a lawyer. Czolgosz made no reply and the judge repeated the question, with the same result. The court then appointed two eminent lawyers and ex-judges, Loran L. Lewis and Robert C. Titus, to act as his attorneys. There was some doubt

at

whether the eminent gentlemen would accept the disagreeable appointment, but they bowed to the will of the court and assumed the thankless task. They saw their client fornhe first time on September 21. Before they arrived he had been talking freely with the detectives, but he stood absolutely mute before them, refusing to answer a single question.

The trial of Leon Czolgosz began before Justice Truman C. White, of the Supreme court of Erie county, on September 23. It was conducted in the city hall. Out of a panel of thirty-six jurors only one asked to be excused. The prisoner was brought into court shackled. He had been shaved—something that had before been denied him—and presented a neat appearance. He made no effort to sham insanity, as he had done upon his preliminary examination and other occasions. Not a shade of trouble or annoyance was visible on his face.

His manacles were removed as he sat down behind ex-Judge Titus and ex-Judge Lewis. He spoke not a word to either of them, and when his steadfast eyes were not resting upon the floor his glances were direct and steady at the face of Judge White or at the jurymen who were chosen to hear his case.

District Attorney Penney at once addressed the prisoner, reading the indictment within a few feet of the accused man's face, but in a voice so low that it could not be heard beyond the railing. Czolgosz did not seem to realize that the words were directed at him. His eyes rested for a moment upon the face of the judge. He looked curiously at Mr. Penney, then drooped his glance upon the floor, held his hands together easily and naturally in his lap and waited.

Justice White's challenge, "What have you to say?" seemed to arouse him. He looked calmly up. His lips moved as if he would ask a question, and it was evident that he had not heard the charge as read. Mr. Penney repeated the reading and when Justice White again asked, "What have you to say?" Czolgosz said in a low but clear voice that could be heard in every part of the room:

"Guilty."

He was standing as he said it, and he looked straight at the judge. Not a muscle trembled. He had answered as nonchalantly as if to the question, "Are you hot or cold?" he had simply answered "Cold."

The technical plea of "not guilty" was then formally ordered and entered, and Judge Titus, for the defense, arose and explained that the attitude of himself and his associate in the case was embarrassing and peculiar, consisting chiefly in the enforced duty of securing all the forms of law and justice in the prosecution of the case. In reply Justice White complimented the lawyers for the defense and predicted that whatever might be the outcome of the trial it could not but reflect credit upon them.

The examination of veniremen was then begun and proceeded with such rapidity that at noon the seventh man had taken his place in the jury box. Judge Lewis, who, for the defense, did most of the questioning, asked every proposed juryman whether he would acquit a man whose insanity at the moment of the murder was proved, and whether he, the juryman, had been a witness of the shooting or present in the Temple of Music at the moment the President was shot. Most of the veniremen excused expressed the belief that their opinions as to the assassin's guilt were already so firmly fixed that no amount of testimony or argument could shake their belief. Many who admitted that they had already formed an opinion, but insisted that they were open to argument and proof, were readily admitted by both sides.

During the examination of veniremen Czolgosz sat erect and unflinching in his chair. He held his head upright generally, but at times, as if wearied with the procedure, in which he evinced no interest whatever, his head would loll to one side in a position which seems habitual and which was well expressed in the picture of him first published in the newspapers.

At noon the court adjourned until two o'clock. Forty minutes after the reassembling of the court the jury was completed, being made up of the following, all of mature age, eight being born Americans, three Germans and one Englishman: Frederick V. Lauer, plumber; Richard G. Garwood, street railway foreman; Henry W. Wendt, manufacturer; Silas Cramer, farmer; James S. Stygall, plumber; William Loton, farmer; Walter K. Everett, blacksmith; Benjamin J. Ralph, bank cashier; Samuel P. Waldo, farmer; Andrew J. Smith, commission merchant; Joachim H. Mertens, shoe dealer; Robert J. Adams, contractor.

After a brief statement of the case by Assistant District Attorney Frederick Haller, the first witness, Samuel J. Fields, chief engineer of the Pan-American Exposition, was called and submitted drawings showing the scene of the assassination in the Temple of Music.

Dr. Harvey R. Gaylord, of Buffalo, who was then called, testified that he had performed the autopsy upon the body of the President. He described the wounds in the stomach, the direction of the bullet and the condition of the organs and portions touched by the missile.

"Back of the stomach," he said, "was a track in which I could insert the tip of my fingers. It was filled with a dark fluid matter. The search for the bullet was not continued after the cause of death had been ascertained. The pancreas was seriously involved. The cause of death was the gunshot wound. The organs of the body other than those affected were in a normal condition.

"The wounds in the stomach were not necessarily the cause of death. The fundamental cause was the changes back of the stomach. The

« PreviousContinue »