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whether the eminent gentlemen would accept the disagreeable appoint. ment, but they bowed to the will of the court and assumed the thankless task. They saw their client for the 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:
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 actual cause was absorption of the broken down matter of the pancreas. There is nothing known to medical science that would have arrested the progress of the changes caused by the passage of the bullet through the pancreas.”
Judge Lewis closely cross-examined Dr. Gaylord on the question whether antiseptics were used to prevent inflammation. The doctor explained that inflammation resulted from bacteria entering the wound and that antiseptics were used to kill these germs.
District Attorney Penney closely questioned Dr. Herman Mynter, the next witness, regarding the operation performed at the exposition hospital immediately after the shooting. Dr. Mynter said that the surgeons found the wound in the upper left hand side of the abdominal cavity; that the president at once agreed to an operation, understanding perfectly that perhaps his life depended upon it.
“The abdomen was opened,” said Dr. Mynter, “but it was difficult to get at the wound in the back of the stomach. The stomach was turned around and the orifice there, as well as that at the front, sutured and antiseptically washed. We could not follow the further course of the bullet at that time, and, as the president's temperature was rising, it was agreed by all the physicians and surgeons present that further search was inadvisable at the time. The stomach was replaced, and on the advice of all present the patient was removed to the Milburn house."
As to the result of the autopsy, Dr. Mynter said that it proved, first, that there was no inflammation of the bowels; second, that there was no injury to the heart; third, that there was a gunshot wound in the stomach, and fourth, that there was a gangrenous spot back of the stomach as large as a silver dollar. He stated that the cause of death was blood poisoning from the absorption of poisonous matter caused by the gangrene; that primarily it was the gunshot wound.
Dr. Matthew D. Mann, another of the physicians who attended President McKinley, was the next witness. He went over the ground covered by Dr. Mynter and described the operation performed at the exposition hospital.
“To find the track of the bullet, back of the stomach,” Dr. Mann explained, "it would have been necessary to remove the bowels from the abodminal cavity. The performance of that operation would probably have resulted fatally, as the president already had grown very weak as a result of the first operation."
The cross-examination of Dr. Mann, which was conducted at considerable length, was not concluded when the court adjourned for the day.
The cross-examination of physicians, the direct testimony of secret
service officers, marines and other immediate witnesses of the tragedy occupied most of the day. Dr. Mann explained that the optimistic bulletins sent out during the first days of the president's illness were based upon the evident facts of his improving condition without regard to what might eventuate. There was, he said, no way to predict the final catastrophe, but the press had even exaggerated the hopefulness of the statements at first made by the doctors.
The doctors explained that President McKinley was not in first-class physical condition when he was shot. Lack of exercise, hard work and a dearth of fresh air had somewhat weakened his normal vigor they said.
The long story of the anarchist's frank and even satisfied admissions to the police after his arrest, his boasts of “duty done,” his free and unforced statements of the motives which prompted him as he told them after his arrest, his lack of remorse, his physical indifference, were all exploited by the witnesses who saw him shoot down the president and later listened to his own recital of the cowardly crime.
No witnesses were sworn for the defense. Not a word of evidence was before the court as to the sanity of the prisoner. The alienists who examined him were not called. To the assassin was offered the opportunity to go on the stand, but he only shook his head when his lawyers asked him.
When Czolgosz came to court in the morning he was dressed as on the preceding day, but every one was instantly struck with the change in his appearance and demeanor. He had tried to conceal it, and had smeared his hair with vaseline, so that it looked darker and ran into oily curls.
The life, the stamina was gone out of him. His head crooped in spite of him. It was a more trying day for him. He saw exhibited in court the revolver with which he did his crime, the burnt handkerchief, in which he had concealed it, the one bullet that was recovered, and he heard the testimony of the men who saw the deed and met again those who seized him. He found that of the physicians who had examined him not one was to testify to help him, and there was no refuge in the plea of insanity. The death chamber was clearly in sight.
Judge Lewis addressed the jury on behalf of the defense, his associate afterwards concurring in all he said. As he progressed it became apparent that his whole soul recoiled against the crime which he sought to extenuate. His utter helplessness and the stubborn refusal of the accused man to aid him added to the sympathy felt for Judge Lewis, and when he had concluded his speech every hearer bowed in respect to his age, his eloquence and his unhidden admiration for the martyred president.
"This trial here is a great object lesson to the world,” he said in the course of his moving speech. “Here is a case where a man has stricken down the beloved president of this country in broad daylight, in the presence of hundreds of thousands of spectators. If there was ever a case that would excite the anger, the wrath of those who saw it, this was one, and yet, under the advice of the president, 'Let no man hurt him,' he was taken, confined in our prison, indicted, put upon trial here and the case is soon to be submitted to you as to whether he is guilty of the crime charged against him. That, gentlemen, speaks volumes in favor of the orderly conduct of the people of the city of Buffalo.
“How can a man with a sane mind perform such an act? The rabble in the streets will say, no matter whether he is insane or not, he deserves to be killed. The law, however, says that you must consider the circumstances, and see if he was in his right mind or not when he committed the deed. If you find he was not responsible you would aid in lifting a great cloud from the minds of the people of this country. If the beloved president had met with a railroad accident and been killed our grief could not compare with what it is now. If you find that he met his fate through the act of an insane man, it is the same as though he met it by accident.
“I had the profoundest respect for President McKinley. I watched him in congress and during his long public career, and he was one of the noblest men God ever made. His policy we care nothing about, but it always met with my profoundest respect. His death was the saddest blow to me that has occurred in many years."
District Attorney Penney concluded a brief but most eloquent address, with these words:
“The duty of counsel on both sides is ended. The court will charge you briefly, then it will be your duty to take up the case. No doubt the same thought, the same object, is in all our minds—that although our beloved country has lost its greatest man, it still should maintain the respect of the whole world, and it should be made known to the whole world that no man can come here and commit such a dastardly act and not receive the full penalty of the law.”
In his charge, Justice White set out, briefly, but clearly, the law that was to govern the jury in reaching their verdict. In the course of it he said:
“I am very glad that up to the present stage of this lamentable affair, so far as the jury and people of this city are concerned, there has been shown that respect for the law that is bound to teach a valuable object lesson. The defendant has been given every advantage of experienced counsel. I deplore any incitement to violence, and the man who is ready