Your Honor, it has been almost three months since the great responsibility
of this case was assumed by my associates and myself. I am willing to confess
that it has been three months of great anxiety. A burden which I gladly
would have been spared excepting for my feelings of affection toward some
of the members of one of these unfortunate families. This responsibility
is almost too great for any one to assume; but we lawyers can no more choose
than the court can choose.
Our anxiety over this case has not been due to the facts that are
connected with this most unfortunate affair, but to the almost unheard
of publicity it has received; to the fact that newspapers all over this
country have been giving it space such as they have almost never before
given to any case. The fact is that day after day the people of Chicago
have been regaled with stories of all sorts about it, until almost every
person has formed an opinion.
And when the public is interested and demands a punishment, no matter
what the offense, great or small, it thinks of only one punishment, and
that is death.