Now, your Honor, I have been practicing law a good deal longer than
I should have, anyhow, for forty-five or forty-six years, and during a
part of that time I have tried a good many criminal cases, always defending.
It does not mean that I am better. It probably means that I am more squeamish
than the other fellows. It means neither that I am better nor worse. It
means the way I am made. I can not help it.
I have never yet tried a case where the state's attorney did not
say that it was the most cold-blooded, inexcusable, premeditated case that
ever occurred. If it was murder, there never was such a murder. If it was
robbery, thee never was such a robbery. If it was a conspiracy, it was
the most terrible conspiracy that ever happened since the Star-Chamber
passed into oblivion. If it was larceny, there never was such a larceny.
Now, I'm speaking moderately. All of them are the worst. Why? Well,
it adds to the credit of the State's Attorney to be connected with a big
case. That is one thing. They can say,--
"Well, I tried the most cold-blooded murder case that ever
was tried, and I convicted them, and they are dead."
"I tried the worst forgery case that ever was tried, and I
won that. I never did anything that was not big."
Lawyers are apt to say that.
I suppose it may have some effect with the court; I do not know.
Anyway, those are the chances we take when we do our best to save life
"Here, your clients have pleaded guilty to the most cold-blooded
murder that ever took place in the history of the world. And how does a
judge dare to refuse to hang by the neck until dead two cowardly ruffians
who committed the coldest-blooded murder in the history of the world?"
That is a good talking point.
I want to give some attention to this cold-blooded murder, your
Was it a cold-blooded murder?
Was it the most terrible murder that ever happened in the State
Was it the most dastardly act in the annals of crime?