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Famous American Trials

Illinois v. Nathan Leopold
and Richard Loeb

The Confession
The Surprise Plea
Picture of Darrow with Leopold
                  and Loeb
Leopold, Darrow, and Loeb during the arraignment
Decision and Sentence
In Leopold's Words
The Glasses
Trial Account
by Prof. Douglas Linder (1997)
A tragedy of three young lost lives, a dead fourteen-year-old victim and the imprisonment of two teenage killers, unfolded in Chicago in 1924.  The murder trial of Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold that shocked the nation is best remembered decades later for the twelve-hour long plea of Clarence Darrow to save his clients from the gallows.  His summation, rambling and disorganized as it was at times, stands as one of the most eloquent attacks on the death penalty ever delivered in an American courtroom. Mixing poetry and prose, science and emotion, a world-weary cynicism and a dedication to his cause, hatred of bloodlust and love of man, Darrow took his audience on an oratorical ride that would be unimaginable in a criminal trial today....[Cont.]

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