Argument of Jeremiah J. McAnarney, Esq.
Mr. Foreman and Gentlemen of the Jury, I hope you feel as relieved as I do that we have arrived at this point in the case where evidence is all through, where we are doing our best to assist you to arrive at a verdict in this case, and I say this at the start, gentlemen, before I get into the evidence. I think every word in argument to any jury should be, and every question asked in any trial of any cause, should be to assist the jury to find out what is the truth, rather than to confuse a witness or confuse the issue by questions on the stand to a witness.
In the end we are going to ask a jury to determine that which is the truth, and how do we assist you to get at the truth if by our questions we seek to confuse the witness on the stand, and so I shall bearing out that which is my conception of the duty of an attorney, as I ask my questions and as I argue my case to you now, everything I say to you is to be in my passing attempt, an attempt to analyze this evidence and analyze it fairly, so that when you go to your room you will have the assistance that my experience as a member of the bar and whatever learning I have in my profession can give you.
You are 12 men, and it will be foolish for me for one minute to think that the consensus of you 12 men, your minds acting together, is not far superior to mine or to any other individual attorney who will stand here before you and seek to argue that from you which is not warranted.
And so, gentlemen, I have just seen by my associate's experience that 2 hours is a mighty short time to cover a case that has gone 5 or 6 weeks, I have got to sail right into the middle of this wonderful, extraordinary case, "For goodness sake, what case is this?"
There was a shooting over in Braintree on the 15th day of April;
one Berardelli and one Parmenter were shot. We have drifted miles
away from that case, miles away. We had almost forgotten that those
men had been shot, and we have drifted, but we have drifted on with the
tide, and we have drifted just exactly where this case belongs. We
have drifted right to the issue; we have drifted to the reason that these
men were arrested. We have drifted to the fact that these men are
radicals and that they were apprehended because they were radicals, as
every bit of this evidence when it is weighed absolutely proves.
You cannot kick a ball around 5 or 6 weeks but what it will get its level. You cannot play with this case as a case of a murder at Braintree for 5 or 6 weeks and conceal the true issue in this case. This case cannot be won on the facts of that shooting or that identification at Braintree. You would not kill a dog on that identification at Braintree.
The men just take the descriptions-tall, a light, a dark, a small, a square, heavy chest, a light chest, a mustache, no mustache. You have every conceivable kind of a man on that job at Braintree. You have the chauffeur for Slater & Morrill coming up there at 12 o'clock, or rather, just before the shooting, getting the oil right there at the Slater & Morill, a bright, clean-cut, good looking fellow, who bears no brief for those defendants, and he says they are two light haired men with light caps that were there against that Rice & Hutchins rail. So you find they are light and they are dark and they are dark and they are light, and, gentlemen, when you apply the rule of law which is that on the essential features of this case, as in any other, that the burden is on the government, for goodness sake, where do you land on such identification as that?
Now, gentlemen, there has happened in this case much that I regret. There isn't a man on this panel-and if some of these witnesses had a mother or father, he regretted not more than I did what has transpired in connection with their evidence in this case. We will take them right as they start, but every trifle I am not going to touch on identification.
We will take up Wade, for instance. What of it? A good, big natured fellow. He said he thought he did and he thought he didn't when he was down in Quincy frankly and honestly, and he says when he is here that within a month of going on this stand lie saw a man in a barber shop in Braintree-and lie told you the barber shop. He told you when he came in there, and he said he bore such a resemblance to the man that did the shooting, that it knocked him all out, and from that time he could not say that this-that he even thought this was the man, except that he resembled him.
What does that mean? Only the out-speaking of an honest man. What would you want him to say if it be true, and why is Wade in his present employment, a general fellow around the Slater & Morrill factory, one of whose employee is killed? What interest has he in these Italians, absolute strangers to him that he should say that which is not true?
Take Miss Splaine. If ever a man teased a woman, coaxed her to tell that which she had first said, I did. She comes on here, and I am sorry that she said what she did. If she came on here or if that woman had taken this stand on behalf of one of these defendants and had so completely changed her evidence as she did, this building, the roof, the walls would not stand the vibration of my friend's voice when he would say to her, "Madam, are you changing your testimony, committing falsehood to deceive these jurors?"
And when after my examination of that woman, asking her if she did not say these things in the lower court, almost begging her to admit that that is what she did say, she denied it and told me that was wrong, what a miserable crawl that poor girl had to perform the next morning when, under the kindly questions of Mr. Williams she admitted that she did say the things which I asked -her the day before if she did not say.
Gentlemen, that comes from this government's case. That comes from the prosecution in this case and I don't reflect on the prosecution. I don't understand it yet. That is all, all I say to you in connection with that. If that is the strength of the government's case, that it has got to do such a shift as that from the 20th day of May following the shooting until the testimony here, it is indeed a weak case. You never have to bolster up the truth, gentlemen. That will stand-alone.
I just want to call your attention to the vital features of Miss
Splaine's evidence, and then I will pass on. When I asked her if
she did not say in Quincy that she did not have a chance to identify the
man, if she did not say there that she did not have opportunity to identify
this man, she said, no, she did not say that in Quincy. I asked her
if she did not testify there,
"Q. Did you not say that you did not have sufficient opportunity in your view to identify this man?"
On the stand here she said she did not say that. The next
morning she comes back on the stand and says that she did say that.
Now, if that woman in the Quincy court on the 20th day of May following the 15th of April said she did not have sufficient opportunity to enable her to identify this man, that woman must have forgotten that, she must have forgotten that situation. They have chatted there in the factory. She has forgotten the exact situation, and she comes here now, not meaning to tell falsehoods, not prompted to tell falsehoods, but where does it leave us on the reliability of her evidence That is what I want to call carefully to your attention.
Now, I will give you another phrase she used that is almost concluding. Now, you take her evidence in one way. She says she sees this man; he is leaning out of the car. She says that he has his left hand on the back of the seat, that that hand impressed her as being a very strong hand. You know in your own experience if you are looking down from the second story of a building and see an automobile out there 80 feet how much you can tell about the strength of that hand which was, as she said, one-third ways in on the back of the seat, when before that she testified that the man's body obscured the driver on the front seat. That is her testimony.
Now-and in all parts of this case I am not going to attempt to
quote unless I am quoting accurately. The man's body leaning out
obscured the driver of that car from her. How then if the body-here
is the man, there is the driver. She is up there (indication).
If his body obscures the driver, how did she see the hand leaning one-third
of the way along on the seat, only that she is mistaken. I say to
you in honesty to that girl, in fairness to your oath here, you disregard
that evidence of identification.
You take Miss Devlin, "it was a tall man, a stout, large man" that she saw. I don't blame her, but you have got the identification. They are trying to pick something, they are giving it as honest as they can, but here, gentlemen, is your test. Some of you men have had experience; some of you have had experience in police matters. Do you say, gentlemen, that it is a fair test, what transpired in Brockton there?
Supposing you were in charge of Brockton?' Supposing you had in your custody a man who was accused of murder and you knew there were people coming to identify that man? Wouldn't you in that sense of duty you owed to every man and to your oath of office, wouldn't you have stood that man up with a half dozen or two or three other men and asked the identifying witness to come in and look them over and pick out the man?
That did not take place at Brockton when those 25 or 30, according to Miss Splaine, were looking that man over. And, gentlemen, what is the sense of such identification? They are brought up, they are hurdled up, they are packed up there, to do what? To pick out a man. What man? This man, the man they got down in the room. That may be. It may be their conception of a fair way to identify a man.
Does it strike you as being a, fair way? Would you want to be marked by being led in by an officer here if it was your son and you learned that is the way he was identified? No matter how much you cared for law or anything else, what a quiver would go up your spine? You would say, say in fairness to your boy, "Why didn't you have half a dozen other men there and let these people pick out the man who they saw?"
Is there anything in those Italians they should not have been granted that right which you know in your heart every man should have been granted and is granted where they attempt a proper identification?
Gentlemen, the significant fact in this case is that the man who could identify, the men who were there and saw-and they don't look like weak-kneed fellows-That McGlone, with bullets flying around that fellow, he assisted Parmenter to the ground, he did not turn tail and run. There is nothing yellow in that young fellow, a workman though he was, when he took that stand, there "within 30 feet of the man, seeing all about him, seeing everything that was taking place.
Gentlemen, isn't that the man to say if these were the men he wouldn't have known it when we are under the cloud-not under cloud, but when the government is carrying the burden of proving beyond reasonable doubt that these are the men and such a man as that says he can't identify them, what does it mean? Doesn't it go beyond a reasonable doubt that they are not the men and don't it prove beyond reasonable doubt that they are not the men?
Bostock says-and what do you say of Bostock? Was there anything weak looking about that man? He was right there he saw them. He was within 50 or 60 feet of them when it began and started towards them. They turned and shot at him. He goes up around the corner of the fence. He describes how the curtains were. Here is the fence (indicating). He goes behind it. As it comes up he describes how those curtains were. "If I put my hand out I could have touched the automobile." Not a person leaning from one window to another trying to get a fleeting glance. No, with his eyes all the time. He could have touched the automobile if lie wanted to.
Are these the men? 'What do you say about that? Doesn't
that, if we stop right there, or if we went a thousand times beyond there,
wouldn't these two men be two men-English speaking men-wouldn't that prove
to you that these were not the men? Gentlemen, I can't add to that.
That is the government's case. That is the case on which they asked
you to say these are the men. Just think of what that means, gentlemen.
On such evidence as that they want you to say that these are the men.
Well, gentlemen, we slip along this identification. We pick them as we get them. Unfortunately there were Spaniards and Italians there. Surely the prosecution has paid a wonderful compliment to the Italian race in this case. It is the first time in my history, in my experience as a lawyer was a race indicted as they are in this case. Not weight enough is given to any evidence of those Spaniards or of those Italians that they are dignified by being asked a question or what they saw by the prosecution.
Turn that over. Roll that over in your mind and see the significance of that, gentlemen. Is it to be presumed because an Italian is an Italian that he is a murderer, that he will shield a murderer? Is it to be presumed that a Spaniard in being a Spaniard is not a man and that he will shield a murderer? All these men were there, and that left handed attempt of the foreman to try to show they were not there, and he finally included himself, and was there., He went on to follow them over, when, as he said he stopped them all. There they were over there and saw it, and we have had to bring them forward. I assure you I feel sorry for what transpired there. We take. it as it comes. That came. You have it.
And, gentlemen, it may be significant. What is the significance
of not eating Miss-Mrs. Luscomb? Now, just take this proposition,
not because I say it, but because it went on that stand. Mrs. Luscomb
was right there on the second floor, basement or no basement. She
says she went to the window. She saw the man pointing the gun up,
and then she fainted.
I say to you as a matter of common knowledge to yourself, it isn't any different whether you see a person a half hour or whether you see them 10 seconds, if into the retina of your eye was photographed through that eye to your brain a face, it doesn't require an hour, it doesn't require 10 minutes. You will retain it if your observation was sufficient. That woman looked down into that man's face. She told you on the stand she never could forget that face, that that face wasn't the face of Sacco.
Gentlemen, when that woman was on this witness stand she was interrogated, "Were not interrogated by a state police officer accompanied by a sheriff? Were you not asked a question? Were you not -asked this? Were you not asked that?" She said "yes" to some, and "no" to some. She testified here under oath. What state constable or sheriff from Maine has come here and said to you that she said anything different than she said on this stand? The fine tooth comb has worked in this case, gentlemen, and not one bit of evidence was brought forward to controvert what that woman said. What is the significance of their leaving that woman there, whose evidence would prove that Sacco was not the man, leaving her in Maine?
We have that nurse, Mrs. Novelli, formerly Miss Pierce, of Quincy.
What is the significance of that woman? She came around the corner.
For 200 yards or at least from a building near the corner down to that
cobbler shop that you saw she walked beside this automobile. She
said the man to the right of the driver resembled some one she knew.
She observes it. She was going to speak to him exactly as the detective
said yesterday. She said he resemble some one she knew. She
was going to speak to him. She observes him all the "rays down.
She tells you that he is not Mr. Sacco. She tells you that.
What proof, what reason is there in that class of woman, husband dead, making her living, formerly Miss Pierce of Quincy, married one Novelli, husband dead, and here she is summonsed here to court, and has been interviewed by Mr. Scott. My brother asked her if Mr. Scott did not interrogate her. Scott stood up and Scott sat down. She wasn't sure whether he did or not. Presume that he did. She said she was interrogated by a detective and by a state police officer.
Has any state police officer said other than what she herself said? Why was she not produced? She was there. She got the best view of any one. Gentlemen, what she says knocked their case sky high. They wanted that automobile at about that time coming over from East Braintree. She said she saw the automobile going down the grade. It feathered along with her as she walked down. It quickened over the tracks and when it got down below as she was swinging up to the left there to that house she was going to she saw the automobile start to turn around. There is where that was dropped; when she did not bring that automobile up from East Braintree with our friend Vanzetti, she was put on ice. There was one woman who could establish the fact that there was an automobile, that it went down there, the time it went down, where it turned around, and a description of the man on the seat. Why was she dropped?
And Chase, the man that worked on the corner as you turn around in South Braintree, turn to the right-to the left in that co-operative store, heard the car whirl around the corner. The speed attracted him and he steps out. The car goes within a few feet of him. He sees the driver of that car. He sees what manner of man he is, to wit, that he is light haired. He sees a man standing up and looking back out through the window. He tells the state officer that man he saw had hair nothing like the defendant Sacco. Isn't that very important evidence in this case, gentleman? A white man, a man who was there, a citizen, working right in a store in the town of Braintree, sees this death car.
Hasn't he about as good a chance as the woman up in the window, back in the window, to see the automobile going past at 16 miles an hour, and undertaking to identify the man in it? Have they got to have some dust in their eye to identify this car with the man in it? No dust there on the main street in South Braintree, gentlemen. He had been interviewed. Why the silence as to what he said to these men? Stewart asked him a few questions. Stewart has answered. Has Stewart or any one who interviewed Chase said he said anything different than he said on this witness stand? No, gentlemen. I therefore ask you, and I ask it as a matter of right from a fellow human being that you give credit to Chase's testimony.
I don't want you to feel for one minute this case is going any other than this way, and I am going to say something mighty plain, and I am going to say it because it is so, and it isn't one reflection on this district attorney, who, outside of the fact that he wants to win this case-and I want to win it also-is as good a friend as I have got, and he or Mr. Williams or any other man there, I have got to go before those men, I have got to contest them, with them other cases and before this court-one of the most learned judges we have, whose brains and whose ability is acknowledged by the bar, by the judges of the supreme and superior court and every court in this land.
It comes to my mind now I had a little controversy with him, where I said l thought he was prejudicing the defense by a question he asked. We have had a talk about that, and he did not have my conception of my conception not have what he was trying to do to me. It might well have been he was me, but I was standing up on my feet and I did not think it was there and I said and I took an exception to his prejudicing my case by his remarks, but, gentlemen, don't you mind that.
This court would not have any respect for me if I did not fill my clothes when I am trying for a defendant whose life is at issue. I can't think of the district attorney or the court or anybody else but to protect everything which in my mind is the right of that man. So, then, don't think it is any reflection when I say-but to get to what I mean, it is this. The district attorney is trying the evidence is it comes to him from his sources of information, but he can well turn to me and say, "Mr. McAnarney, you don't expect I would put on evidence that would prove your men innocent, do you?" He can well say that. That is our lookout, and we have got to produce the evidence that will show these men are innocent. The government is producing evidence that will show them guilty.
It is a fair standoff. It may be their reasons, and they may have powder dry, and we find no fault with it, but please don't as I know in other cases it has happened, jurors thought the government was putting in all the evidence in order to establish a certain point. They are putting on such evidence in this case as indicates Vanzetti and Sacco are guilty. We are putting on such evidence as proves, in our, opinion tends to prove they are not guilty. It is a fair standoffs but I want you to understand the true situation.
But, gentlemen, I want to say I am not going to stay a great while at Braintree. They came and went. Beridinis, that Italian fellow. He saw the muzzle of the revolver, and that seemed to be as much as he wanted. He can't give us a very intelligent description of what the men looked like. We will pass him out.
We have a man also who was a rather cool, calculating fellow, that Goodridge that follows him. He came up and looked like something apparently, but he was 30 cents when he got through. I am knocking no man. A man is entitled to his dignity when he takes this witness stand, and he is entitled to his manhood, he is not entitled to be browbeaten by any attorney; but when that man Goodridge came here it turned out he was up here on business of his own with his attorney here on the September term and following them, and that he went away and that later he had an identification of this man, no question about that. Where he dreamed that, I don't know, but when he talked with other men there in Braintree he did not know this man. We produced his employer, we produced other men whom he had told that he could not recognize and they had told stories, I suppose, and my brother executed a lightning change of front when he asked Manganaro, the president of those two or three corporations at Braintree and Quincy where they sell the graphophones, when he asked him,-when that man testified his reputation for truth and veracity was bad-"How many have you heard speak of him?" "Oh, many -is a hundred." My brother dropped him quicker that that. He did not ask him of those hundred who spoke about him, who they were. He stands here, our friend Goodridge, with his employer who said he ran away from him, and he says in answer to him "how many have said his reputation is bad?" More than an hundred" and my brother let it go at that. It is a good man that knows when to quit. Exit Goodridge so far as this case is concerned and his identification.
Well, gentlemen, that car went along, passing from the evidence of death. Let us take this case in a whole as it stands. Just think of what you are asked to say. Vanzetti had-I am carrying them both together for a minute-Sacco had worked at Braintree and Rice & Hutchins for a period say, we will say 2 weeks. What was done down there? Some men, bandits without any question, in an automobile-I don't care whether it as a Buick or what it is. When we are starting our case we never know when the government's else is going to break. Our duty is to present every point as we go along, so whether, now it is a Buick or an Oldsmobile or a cantilever spring or any other kind of spring, it don't make any difference to us. It is out of this case now.
We have got those men down there. What did they plan to do, the men that came there? They planned to get that money. They came prepared to kill if they had to, didn't they? The men who planned that job planned two things. One was to get the money, and the other was more important than that, to get away.
Now, how would you-I will dignify you by getting you to exercise your ingenuity. How would you plan it? We will say you live in Bridgewater. The way it is being done? You have read the papers-I don't know whether you have read them any since you were on this case or not, but you used to read the papers once, and even after the 15th of last April, and you read the papers up to the time you came in on this jury and you know whether or not these bandits-these jobs are being pulled right around here, and unless the sheriff goes and lets Vanzetti and Sacco out to rehearse it, somebody else is doing it.
This gentlemen, was a hold-up job, pure and simple. Going back. The men planned to get away after they got this money. All right. How were they? They would park a car somewhere, wouldn't they? They wouldn't undertake during a period of two or three days in the car they were exhibiting themselves from 9 o'clock until 3 o'clock right in the heart of the city or town of South Braintree where everyone saw it and hundreds that passed it seeing these men. They were advertising that car up and down every street in South Braintree that day, so you will assume they were not going to travel on that much further than some one's place where they could have a car.
They banged away up through the woods until they got to some place in a country street, they shot the car in there. You heard the evidence of tracks of a car going out, this car in there, and other tracks of a different tire coming out. What does that mean? They got there, they dropped that car and they get into the other car and they are going. All right so far as this case is concerned. Do you think for one minute-there is an axiom of logic that some propositions are so self-evident a statement of them proves it. Here you have it gentlemen. That Sacco, known as he was-on their own evidence-who is within 15 feet of the windows of the Rice & Hutchins factory, right there for hours, standing up in front of the drug store on the corner, the best place he could expose himself, in the depot where that big man physically, said he saw him, where every one saw him, knowing that he was known, knowing that he had worked there, getting the money and getting away? No. And he is back to work in the factory the next morning.
Vanzetti with his playing around in his usual-whether it is fishing or work, I don't know. Gentlemen, does that appeal to you as the ordinary human reasoning? If every lawyer, judge and juror in this Commonwealth died and we had no court, would it require any court or require an instructor to show to you that that is utter, it is the pinnacle of foolishness? You can't get beyond that. If this man pulled that job at night, if he was masked, if he was concealed in some way, he might take the chance of staying around, but here, in broad daylight, absolutely in the presence of every man that he could show himself to, no disguise at all, getting away with the money in Braintree and he is back in the factory the next morning where he can be picked up when they get ready to take him. The same with Vanzetti.
Now, gentlemen, isn't there enough right there to satisfy you that that isn't the way the ordinary mind acts? And gentlemen, when you weigh this case and any part of this case, it isn't what witnesses say, it isn't what attorneys argue, but you take what the ordinary human mind would probably do under the same circumstances, and you have got a pretty fair rule to get the answer. Take what the ordinary man would do under those circumstances.
If he now got that money and got into his car by the taking of those two lives away, he knew that the limb of the law of the United States was against him, and he wouldn't be-it is foolish to say he would take a chance and he would go back to the factory. These men are brighter than that. They don't understand our language very well, but when you strip those men from their broken English you have got more than the ordinary type of fellow.
The poise of Vanzetti as he spoke on that stand, courteously and gently to the district attorney, and after he was stripped of everything that a man holds dear, to wit, his honor, his poise was simply wonderful.
You and I are the product of our own environment. You don't owe yourself many bouquets. To your good father and mother you owe your present situation plus as you came up through, your school. When you judge another man, don't judge him from the way you were brought up in our home. Judge that human mind with its weaknesses and all in the home that that mind came through and came up.
I am saying something that I want to see sink into the heart of every man on this panel, other than that you make a mistake. I bear no brief for a radical, a man, I mean, who would in any way seek to destroy this best government in the world, but you know, gentlemen, there is a vast difference between the man and his opinions. The laws of today as being put on our statute books in the state and the national legislature 50 years ago were the ultra of radicalism, don't mistake that.
I oppose any man who would violate the laws of the land or seek in any way to destroy this government. That isn't in my blood and never can be, but he who is a student of the times of today knows that what I say is true, that the legislation that has taken place today was the radicalism of 50 years ago. If in that over one hour, or almost two hours of the district attorney with Vanzetti, if he preached anything there that was very bad, silence is the answer of the district attorney in regard to it. It has not been quoted to you from that somewhat large volume that he had in his hand containing an interview lie had with Vanzetti that night. Where that is silent I say to you it speaks volumes in favor of Vanzetti.
Take again-carrying them both-I hope I don't hurt them because Brother Moore should take Sacco-but they have put them here together, and they in a way are going along together. What was there in this case to make him a bandit? Why of all men could he have been? Who has got a better brief than that fellow, 6 or 7 years up there in Milford working every day, some credit anyway to him. I will come to it later what he did in the war times.
He comes back to the 3-K. What manner of man was he there? Wasn't he a working man working every day and at home with his family, saving his money? No doubt he had aspirations for his boy and love for his wife and affection for her. Unfortunately, he says, he was a republican Well, you have got a peculiar mentality when you have a boy 19 years of age who has such intellectual grasp-though it may be on a slant-nevertheless give him credit when he has brains enough to know whether he is a republican or not. There is some good in that man if it is turned in the right channel. Pick up the boy today-they are no credit to any government-and ask them whether they are republican or what their ideas be! These fellows usually, however, don't know much about that thing.
These fellows come in and they floated along. Up to this situation here they were as ordinary fellows. Now, Sacco has met with the situation, sickness at home. What was his home? His mother had died, and he has told you he had some letters. He showed to Kelley the letter that came to him about the first. Kelley says so. He went, and he had been promising before. That is plain on the terms of the letter,-he was going home, and that he hurried up then. He had been, he said, the last week in March into the consul to get general information that he would have to have a photograph. Then he had hurried up and went in on the 15th.
Now, gentlemen, he was acting in a natural way. What kind of family did he come out of? What was there in the situation there at home other than kindly affection and a wish for that fellow to come home. He had been saving his money in the bank. He had, his wife and child. Was he the type of man who would be out doing a hold-up job, he with his father ill, with his mother dead, and the people at home advising him to come home to his father?
He wished to see him before he died, no doubt, and he, wanting
to go home, was he in the mental frame to go out and do a job of murder
right there on the street? You have got to weigh those things, gentlemen,
and as bearing on that, gentlemen, you will have the letter from his folks.
Read that over carefully and it will give you an idea of what kind of people
his folks were, his father was, a father who can write the letter and show
the tender sentiments and beautiful expression in that letter. This
boy got his mentality from that father. And read the nice loyal tone
of the letter from the sister. They are not solemn. There are
elevated sentiments and beautiful expression even in the crude translation
and that is the home that this boy came from.
Now, gentlemen, into this case there came a little thing, which was a slant, and while l am looking for that letter l saw the paper. You remember Kelley, George Kelley, when last on the stand gave some evidence which was not interesting. It was that rear end collision that he might get in certain conditions. You understand what I mean, when Kelley testified. I am reading to you the transcript of what he says. I didn't hear the whole of the answer, though I got some of it.
"Q. Did you say you did not say that? A. I said the last part there. I might have said it when they drove off, but not at the time when they showed me the cap"
Now, what was transpiring and what the joke was when he said it does not appear, yet I think he said it at the time of the cap, but I am reading, to you the exact words. This is the stenographic report of what he said, and you get the answer, "A. I said the last part there. I might have said it when they drove off, but not at the time when they showed me the cap." Now, just what transpired in the meantime I don't know and you don't know, but don't charge that up against us. Don't you feel that Kelley, as he first said, he trusted this fellow with the keys of the place and everything there as if it was his own all the time, that means something when the employer who employs you for over two years, when he trusts you it is a pretty good criterion of what kind of man you are?
Now, the case has drifted on, and we are going to get into some law. That is always difficult. There is going to be into this case the question of conscious guilt. That is, the old identification is pretty near knocked out of this case. I say it advisedly that that evidence warrants you in discarding anything about that, holding these men on identification.
Now, it is going to be said that their actions up there at West Bridgewater, their conduct was-indicated that they were guilty of some crime. Well, if these men are not what they are, if they had not been doing what they had been doing, if Vanzetti had not been in New York and had not learned these things, such as they were and they hadn't been acting as they were it would be might funny they were up there for an old Overland car, but the explanation has been given, and not one word of it has been controverted.
It has been said there had been a committee appointed for a defense committee. Gentlemen, if you and you and you happened to be with the man on the end there on the first day of last March and he was a fellow townsman of yours and you were all together and if at that time a crime had been committed, 30 or 20 or 15 miles away and that man was accused, who on this earth would be going to his assistance other than you?
Is it a crime because Williams, because this man, the man on the financial paper or some paper in Boston, that he comes here when he knows this man was there? Is that a crime? The dinner-he is the only one apparently in the group that went to the dinner. The dinner was spoken of by Quadagnia and by Williams and by somebody else. I think Quadagnia said the dinner was in the evening. That isn't true, because the dinner was at noon, because this man, this last man, and he is a clean cut type of man-his position shows it-he said he had just come from the dinner to Editor Williams of the Boston Transcript, given by the representative of the Italian government at the Friars' Convent on some street in Boston, complimentary to the conduct of his paper toward the Italian government during the war. That could be verified without any question. What is there that that man with that standing, that position would come in here under the sanctity of an oath and tell a falsehood for this man and put himself in the paper where always he could be marked for life, "You are a perjurer, you went down to Dedham Court and you committed perjury for a murderer."
You have got to go a long ways to get a human being to do that, particularly a man of standing, and every man in mortal life values his standing in the community. What does it mean for that man to come in here and help a murderer? He is marked for life by every Italian in Boston.
There have been men here, there are men here today who know that that meeting on the 25th of April was held. Those men know that at that meeting the situation in New York was discussed. Those men know that Vanzetti was appointed a committee to go over there in regard to this Salcedo who met his death on the 4th, 3rd or 4th of May. They know he went over to confer. This attorney for Salcedo was brought here by our process to this stand and he tells you Quintilino conferred with him and he advised Quintilino in view of the situation, the action of the authorities toward this literature, the best thing to do was to get rid of it. Vanzetti came back and on that next Sunday he reported at that meeting.
There are many human beings in this state, they have been in this
court room, who know that is the truth, who know that Vanzetti went out
to do that which he says he went to do, knew that they arranged to get
this car, know that just what he was doing was what you would expect him
to do, to slip around and get hold of that literature and put it out of
Hasn't that been shown without any doubt? Wasn't it what they were arrested for? If the only thing was the fact these men had shot a man in Braintree, why these questions, "Are you a socialist, are you an anarchist, are you this and are you that?" How would that prove the revolver or anything else?
Gentlemen, I say that the case has floated along and has struck its level. Are you a socialist? Are you an anarchist? The trap was-set right there at Bridgewater, to catch who? Gentlemen, this is no myth. You have got Coacci deported on the 16th day, taken in custody, taken to-on the train on the 17th and put aboard boat on the 18th. Isn't that something? Is it nothing that Boda was last seen there on the 20th and the chief of police talked to him? Note the question of the district attorney to Sacco, "Do you mean to tell this jury that Boda, living in Bridgewater, came from Bridgewater down to Stoughton and went from Stoughton back to Bridgewater to get his Overland car?"
Boda, on the evidence, was not there. Mrs. Coacci had moved
out, and Boda wasn't seen there after the 20th day of April. The
evidence is he was living somewhere in Boston, so that my brother he had
forgotten that or did not have the information. I know he would -not
ask a question he didn't think was so, but you know that question was not
fair to Sacco, because Boda was living in Boston at that time. The
Coacci house was cleaned out. Boda beat the authorities to it.
Get aboard and exit Boda; and we care not for Boda only he had that Overland
car and we were going to use it that night.
These men-no more popular thing was given to a district attorney to play a note up to a jury on than this case. No district attorney ever argued such a beautiful case.
He can stand up to this rail and say to you gentlemen "What have we been here for six weeks for, for two slackers, for two men who did not thing enough of their country but what they would go to Mexico,-murderers, slackers, anarchists," ring the changes, gentlemen, and you can play any tune you want to on that. And you have got to be very careful that you don't vibrate in unison with those words. They are fearful, they are potent, they are laden to the limit.
But, gentlemen, they are not to be punished because they were slackers. It may be that in the mind of some men here, it may be you may feel that that poor Sacco meant what he said when he said he worked with Irishmen, with Germans and others, and he loved them but he did not believe in killing another. There are some men in this world who do not believe that. There are some men who do not feel that they have the right to take and kill.
They may not understand our situation, and they may not understand the emergency that threatens the government, but they may have an honest conviction, and the history of the world has shown that there are men who are honest in that conviction, and if a man is honest in that conviction, it requires a good deal more courage for him to leave his family behind on his principles than it does to be drafted.
Not one man will bear more for his country or who will stand back of this government more than I but I want to deal fairly with a man who has not the point of view that I and you have been given, and I say again that men may have individual courage who will take that foolish position. They did take it. They are entitled to be condemned as hard as you want to condemn them for it, and also that they have this literature, and all of that, but does that prove, gentlemen, that they killed over in South Braintree? Take all of that, their simple, their sad story, and their peculiarity of mind. I say take it anyway you want to.
Yes, we have got Officer Connolly here. On the words, the
wonderful words of that man Connolly we are going to have the question
of conscious guilt worked out. Officer Connolly takes this stand
here. Officer Connolly says that-I will call your attention just
to his exact words. He says that he got on the car. There was
a telephone and he got aboard that car.
And I was astonished when I saw Connolly. On the witness stand there he was going along, mildly, had a quiet tone of voice, and when he got to the question what he did, Connolly began to smile. He began to inhale the air and began to smile. I could not get what was coming, when he squared off and said, "I said to him,"-well, gentlemen, bear with Connolly, let him enjoy that smile. Connolly was there then listening to the sweetest music of his young life, the sound of Connolly's voice when he was telling you what he did, and let us see what was the occasion of his doing that. Here we are, page 685 of the record here,
"Q. All right. A. I told- them when we started off the first false move I would put a bullet in them."
Well, Connolly got going by that time, didn't he? He was
going to put a bullet in them the first false move they made.
"On the way up to the station, Sacco reached his hands to put under his overcoat."
Reached his hands to put under his overcoat. He had an overcoat
on, and he reached his hand to put under his overcoat. Marvelous.
"And I told him to keep his hands on his lap." He sees poor Sacco there
and he reaches to put his hands outside his overcoat, and that smile came
"A. And I told him to keep his hands outside of his clothes and on his lap.
Q. Will you illustrate to the jury how he placed his hand? A. He was sitting down with his hands that way, and he moved his hand up to put it in under his overcoat."
Connolly got to put it under, but Sacco "moved his hand up."
"Q. At what point? A. Just about the stomach there."
And Connolly smiles again. He asked him if he has a gun. "I ain't got no gun," he says. Connolly says he reaches over and puts his hand under his coat but he didn't feel any gun.
Well, gentlemen, there you are on Connolly in regard to Sacco. Now,
I will come to what he said in regard to Vanzetti in just a minute. It isn't as strong as that.
Now, gentlemen, I want to come down to the evidence in regard
to the Johnsons. Mrs. Johnson testified in that case up there, Mrs.
Johnson told you that she saw-Ruth Johnson-she testified to seeing these
men. She testified they were up there. She went up and they
followed her. The evidence of Mrs. Johnson's husband is-both Johnson
and his wife agree that the Bartlett house was 60 feet from their- house,
entrance to the driveway, 60 feet, that the motor cycle was 30 feet up.
Therefore, the motorcycle is half way between the Bartlett house and the
Johnson house. Did you note that? That is the record in this
Johnson testifies, and the record bears me out-and I am stating that which is the record-I won't have time to find it, but I say to you on my word of honor what this record is. The record shows that that women came out of that house, that the motorcycle was down there, that she walked down there, and I say to you that the record in this case shows that her husband came out and was out in the door 5 minutes before she came back, and that she said that they came in the rays of the motorcycle, and Johnson-I want to give you what Johnson said about that, 1026.
Now, gentlemen, bear in mind that Mrs. Johnson said that-told
about the light playing and the light waving with his hand and these men
acting suspiciously. Where she got that inspiration, I don't know.
These men said that they came up there, that the motor cycle was up beyond
Sacco and Vanzetti, that they came tip there, and that they talked with
Now, run along. I don't know where I am, but take it right here, whatever it is. Johnson says:
"Q. You talked with Boda, as you have said, a matter of three to five minutes, something like that? A. Less than five.
Q. Substantially, while your wife was up to the Bartlett house you were talking with Boda? A. No, not all the time.
Q. Did you stop talking to Boda before your wife came back from the Bartlett house? A. Just before she came to the door." He stopped talking with Boda before she came to the Bartlett door.
Before she came to the Bartlett door? A. No.
Q. To your house? A. Yes.
Q. Well, then you were talking with Boda until a time just before your wife got back to your door? A. Yes.
Q. And all this time the motorcycle was in the highway? A.
When I was talking with Boda, yes.
Q. All the time from the time you went and looked out there, the motor cycle was there on the street? A. Yes.
Q. On the side of the street? A. Yes, sir.
Q. And the headlight away from you? A. Yes, sir.
Q. And the tail-light in your line of vision? A. Yes.
Q. And at no time did those two men while you were there come within the range of the headlight of that motorcycle, did they? A. No.
Johnson saw his wife come from the Bartletts. Johnson saw
his wife walk down that 30 feet from her place where she came out to the
motorcycle. Johnson has already testified and the record shows the
men were up there near the motorcycle, three men. She said that the
light had been waving before she came out. She said the light played
on her and on those, two men as she walked down back to her house, and
that she saw the two men by that. There I have read to you his answers
under oath, that the light of that motorcycle did not play on those men
or on her from the time they came down there. Let me read to you
"Q. And at no time did those two men while you were there come within the range of the headlight of that motorcycle, did they? A. No."
Gentlemen, doesn't that fairly and squarely dispose of the matter
and place it just where these two unfortunate fellows say it ought to have
been, just exactly as they say that when they got up there to the bridge
they saw the light over there and they went over to it and then the talk
took place? Is there anything other than what Johnson says, that
the headlight played on it, when he said he did talk with him and that
be did not have the number plate? Is there anything other than what
Vanzetti says, that they were coming again when he would arrange to get
These men lied. They lied and lied when they were arrested. Please why? What for? My brother says to Sacco, "When you were arrested, it had all happened. Nothing else counted when arrested." Yes, there could be more. A man is arrested, but that is different from being convicted. He said, "They had Orcciani. You knew that. Why did you lie that you did -not know Orcciani?"
They were informed with knowledge of what had transpired in New York. They knew their position exactly without any question. They knew they were amendable to something. The answer to the whole situation is this. Not one man on that panel believes that Mrs. Sacco was cognizant of any murders or crimes like that. Why did she lie? Was that because she was conscious of any guilt of the shooting at Braintree? She did just what her husband did. She just did the same as Vanzetti did. She concealed from those officials the truth. Why? Because of what she burned up the next day, and that is what was in the car. She burned the papers and saved the books.
Doesn't that tell you right in your own heart, every man here,
she did just exactly what Vanzetti and Sacco did, just exactly, and she
was no party, no man here who looked at that woman would believe she was
a party to these murders. Her conduct was as guilty, as suspicious
as Vanzetti and her husband, and she did the same as they did. She
concealed from them the facts.
You gentlemen have entered into this case at hand. Some of you have known a good deal. Some of you may have had feelings before you sat on this panel. There is only one power on this earth to which is given that of taking life, and that is that Almighty power that created it, except a jury, as you are. You are functioning in the place of the Almighty. There is no power in this world that transcends yours, and while that book has said that even a sparrow, the life of a sparrow or the death of a sparrow is noted, and unto you 12 men that fearful responsibility is placed of snuffing out a human life.
It is a wonderful thing. It is a fearful thing. I say not this to you to in any way detract from your duty, but it flashed across my mind. I hadn't quite concluded, but it flashed across my mind, the wonderful, the terrific situation before you men that have tried this case. Sometimes you thought perhaps there was a good deal of levity. Well, it isn't that. You have laughed and we have laughed: There isn't a man here but has felt the fearful responsibility of this case. You can't imagine the feelings of counsel, and we have sat here and we have heard evidence.
I am reminded of a story I heard some six weeks or two months ago and it has rung in my ears since this case went on and since different witnesses have testified and since that man Pelser has testified, since that man, that Hern who testified, he who Mr. Reed went to-taken in the presence of his employer, taken in the presence of the attorney of that company-of Neal-and Hearn was also interrogated, and when last but not least is Levangie, and when Levangie took that stand and when I asked him if he had not talked with me, and he knew our office. My brother had tried a case for him, and when two weeks before on Sullivan's evidence I was right there, when I had interrogated that man and when I knew as I was recalling that I had interrogated him and "when he knew that I had and knew what answers he made to me, and when that man in the fearful solemnity of a murder trial looks me in the face and says he did not see me on that 15th-that day it was two weeks before my time of interrogating him-you can imagine how I felt, gentlemen.
We get primitive awfully quick at that. If you had the responsibility of this case and you had interviewed me and I had told you what I saw and you had known me ,and I had been in your office in a client relationship and you should look me in the eye and deny you saw me, what in Heaven's name could I think, what motive, what influence was here? What can it be? We are only seeking justice.
A celebrated attorney was being tried. One of the issues that came out in the case he was a prominent attorney known all over the country -was his belief, and they introduced literature that he was an agnostic. That was brought against him as bearing upon some issue in the case. Well he argued his own case. In conclusion he said, "Gentlemen, they say that I am an agnostic and that I don't believe in a God. Well, may be I do, may be I don't. When I retire home at night and think of the wonderful universe and the wonderful works of the creation, I feel there must be a God. But, gentlemen, there are times when I come home from defending some unfortunate in court and I retire to my room and I think, gentlemen, then there is a time that I wonder if there can be a God of Justice to permit such things to happen."
I could not help feel that when that man Levangie took that stand
and looked me boldly in the eye and denied he had seen me two weeks before.
What is there in this case, in the defense of those two poor-rather, in
the conviction of those two poor unfortunate men-what can there be that
your fellow man will repudiate you? Gentlemen, justice doesn't go
on those lines.
We have had experts on revolvers, and we have had Mr. Colt here. You get an answer here, a little bit with Levangie. I forgot it. Levangie at that time saw the man. He may be the connecting link against Vanzetti. Levangie said and pointed to Vanzetti in that box, "There is the man who was driving the car over there." He yellowed right down to his shoes when he said that after what he had told me. He couldn't acknowledge me. He had to repudiate me when he went to work on that stand and said Vanzetti was the driver of that death car, and when he pointed out that man he knew he was doing that which was the absolute untruth, and be it to his credit, his conscience wasn't strong enough to stand the strain. The only way out of it was to repudiate that he had spoken with me.
Now, gentlemen, there were experts on revolvers here. You heard them testify. I am not going to call for an exhibit at all. I will take them as they come. I will take the Colt revolver. We had Van Amburgh. I will call him the "circles" man. He was put on here by the government. He testified, and I don't like these fellows that do this when they are saying something pretty strong, but Van Amburgh said that that No. 3 shell, the fatal bullet that killed Berardelli, came from the 32 Colt. Now, mark that, gentlemen.
And he says that the bullet 3, the one the doctors say killed
Berardelli came from the Colt revolver that was found on Sacco. That
is a fearful statement to make. Now, I challenge the record and I
will quote the record to you almost word for word. You know there
must be some peculiar outstanding identifying thing, about that revolver
which would warrant any man in taking that fearful responsibility and that
is the responsibility of saying that and making that statement, and what
does he say when asked what is that condition? He says that there
is a flare back that the flare back shows on the firing primer and when
you find the primer-and with the most absolute ease and perfect abandonment
he says it is not an unusual thing to find in Colt revolvers. Well,
good Heavens, he says, gentlemen, "this is the shell that comes from this
revolver because of this condition that I find in it, "and I want to read
now. You may think I am not quoting right. Now, let this answer
of the expert's question, let it go out where it came in.
"THE WITNESS. A set back on a primer is a little flowing back of the metal beyond the true surface. Here is the true surface of the metal, that portion of it which is bearing against the breech block.
Q. What is the breech block? A. That is the point from which the firing pin protrudes.
Q. The firing pin comes through the breech block? A. It does.
Q. And strikes the cartridge? A. It does.
Q. Similar to the way my finger is now indicating? A. Yes.
The set back takes place around the firing pin sometimes. It did in
Q. And what causes the set back? A. Largely, a little opening-in my experience I have found it to be usually a little opening in the mouth of the firing pin hole. Do I make that clear?
Q. Is that something that occurs in all guns? A. It is not an unusual thing, but it does not occur in all guns."
It is not an unusual thing. Now, something that is not unusual conversely may be a usual thing. It is not an unusual thing. He finds that on this shell, and he says that is the reason how he proves that this is the identical revolver that fired that shell. Will you see where that reason gets you? If he had said it is an unusual thing, it is an uncommon thing, it is something that rarely occurs, the percentage of chances of that occurring are very remote, "and I would feel that on that-and in my experience, my experience it seldom occurs, I feel on that I feel warranted in saying in my opinion this shell came from that revolver." Well, what do you say when the man says it is not an unusual thing to find it? Now, just think what a jump that is?
I am putting that fair and square, and I want to look every man in the eye on this panel when this case is through, and I want him to know that I have tried to do my duty, and I want every man here to do his, and I want -when I am giving you that man's statement, I ask you can I do more fairly to him than to ask you to discard such stretch of reasoning as that?
He finds another position, that he said there is a marking on the side of the groove caused by a fouling of the barrel. I asked him where he finds the fouling, and he says it is right at the shoulder where the groove and the lands meet. I asked him if that is not where lie usually gets fouling in a used revolver. "Yes." I asked him if there is any condition in that revolver that is not usually to be found in a used revolver, and he says "No." For goodness sake, where do we get when men have that elasticity of conscience that men of penetration of mind, that they will jump that fairly large gap and say this is the revolver that fired that fatal shell?
We have got something more than that. We have got here-here
is Vanzetti, gentlemen. I -tm carrying you along because it is a
frightful thing to cover this thing and cover it right. Take the
revolver, the H. & R. revolver. What have we done? We have
gone back and faithfully brought that revolver from Maine. We have
brought it from that fellow, and we got those two men to come here from
Maine; and I wouldn't want you to know what one of those fellows said when
he left this court room, by that Atwater, the first gentleman who took
the stand, a stately man, and he answered like a man, and he never lost
his dignity. He knew that H. & R. revolver, how it was come by.
He knew it was in the family of the brother-in-law and testified to it.
Orcciani got it. Orcciani sold it to the Italian fellow, and the
Italian fellow sold it to Vanzetti, a clean, straight transaction.
Slater testified that he recalled that because something had been done to the holster. May I see that please, the revolver? And the holster-the stitching on it. Wouldn't that identify it to you or to me if we had it, and they say that that is so. We were questioned and Slater was questioned, and I won't embarrass my brother, he didn't mean. He was passed the revolver; the revolver was shown to him.
"Q. Do you say are there any marks on that revolver?" Slater
takes it and looks at it and my brother comes up to him and says,
"You knew there was a mark on there before you looked at it." Slater
says, "Yes." My brother says, "Do you mean to deceive this jury by
pretending to look for something?" Gentlemen, the question was "Are
there marks?" "You knew that mark had been put on there." He had
seen it. But the question was "Are there marks?" and he was
looking at it.
Gentlemen, give us credit for something. There was numbers on the bottom of that revolver. If falsehood was going to help us win this case and if we were going to stool) to falsehood, gentlemen, we would have done it a thousand times. What would we have had to have done? There is your number right there on the bottom, G-82, 581. All you would have to do was take that revolver out and ask every one of your witnesses. It is a little old. "Take it home. This is the number on it. When you get on the witness stand don't make any mistake. That is the revolver you had, keep the number in your mind."
If we wanted to deceive, if we wanted to tell an untruth to escape death, we could do it, gentlemen, but that table has not stooped to that and never will while I am conducting a case. There is proof of our honesty. If we, as the questions to him implied, were trying to deceive, we could have just taken that number and remembered. Take that, notice on it a tear just on there. If you had done that, wouldn't you have remembered?
There is your holster, there is where you stitched it, plain as
day. And when my brother was asking about it he was asking about
letters and numbers, and not asking about that which enabled the fellow
to identify it. He made a stitch right on there.
Those fellows come up here under summons as well as Slater in that rooms for a week, but for what? To tell the truth for two unfortunate men, and they are branded as falsifiers, they too, go in; with all the others, that men may escape their just deserts.
What of this revolver? Has Mrs. Berardelli come back and contradicted that clean, wholesome, honorable looking woman who she told the second day after, when she was crying, in tears, if her husband had gone in and got the revolver out that he took in his death wouldn't have occurred? What is the meaning of this Iver-Johnson matter? What does it mean? Their last man says there is no record of the revolver being taken out. Mrs. Berardelli says -that that revolver had a broken spring. Here is the joke. Why ask a man up there about a hammer? The revolver, Mrs. Berardelli said, had a broken spring. Here is the joke. Why ask a man up there about a hammer? The revolver, Mrs. Berardelli said, had a broken spring.
Gentlemen, why is this legerdemain and sleight of hand performance in a murder case? A spring-she says that the revolver, the spring of the revolver was broken. They put on the Iver-Johnson man to testify this was a new hammer. Van Amburgh set it on the table. He toyed with that revolver for quite a while. He looked at the hammer, and I looked at him. My brother was asking questions of poor Burns, who was a little hard of hearing. He seems to have been quite a chap, 40 years in the position that Van Amburgh has occupied now for one year and some months, a man who has competed all over the country and a good man, and he was handicapped by being hard of hearing, but doing the best he can, 40 years with that company there, somewhat of a man. He said that hammer had been used.
My brother asked him, "How do you know but it had been used since the time"-naming a certain date, to wit, from the time it may have come out of the Iver-Johnson until the present time, and he should know that that was all camouflage, gentlemen, because when he put on the Johnson man, as he called the Iver-Johnson man, he said that hammer had never been fired-and I challenge the record, not how much this had been used. The Iver-Johnson man said that revolver had never been fired. Burns showed you. He said the hammer was as old as the rest of the gun, and Fitzgerald said the same, the man who has charge of this work for the Colt people.
What is the meaning of bringing this, call it what you want. I don't want to dignify it. Vanzetti discarding a powerful Savage revolver with which they say he was shooting, going in and getting and carrying around this branded gun in his pocket to help identify him? An old obsolete revolver 16 or 18 years old, and giving away a good one that was a gun. Gentlemen, it is easy or hard, just as you want to take it. You saw them.
You saw the second Iver-Johnson man say that the Berardelli revolver
was a 32. The record here shows that he testified that it was a 32.
This is a 38; and that other little fellow who sold it to Vanzetti, didn't
know whether there was 5 or 6 chambers. I bet there are some fellows
on this panel have a revolver and don't know whether there are five or
six chambers in it.
Well, we are passing along. Sacco and Vanzetti had some gun on them. Conscious guilt again-Connolly. Is it what transpired? Did it happen? Were they getting ready were they going away?. Is that true or is it not true?
How about Hayes? Of Course he is subject to Katzmann. Hayes was in court a good deal. Mr. Woodbury was sent out there to check the route and find out along that line if there was any human being to say he saw him going. He struck Daley, the road surveyor in Stoughton. He got on his trail. That man showed him things, he got interested in it and he was seated in the front seat. And he asks this man, "Do you remember any human being you remember ever seeing that day?" and when Sacco when I pat that man on the shoulder and when he honestly looked tip I Hasn't he produced here his book? My brother did not dignify that by asking him to look at the date, did not question the book which contained the number of days he loafed. When that man says he went to Boston and came out about that time, and when that man doesn't have to go beyond the truth and doesn't say "I saw Sacco." No, no, he didn't see Sacco, but Sacco picked him out and said he saw him. Give Hayes credit for telling the truth, because were he disposed to help us, all he had to do was say 'Yes, I saw Sacco on that train." Please let the truth come in, even though it comes through our side of the case, and we gave you the truth there. It isn't of great consequence, but it only shows Sacco was on that train, if that be the truth, and Mr. Hayes has shown it fairly that it was, and I give him credit for that.
There is one thing you want to bear in mind. Please don't construe the ordinary man by an Italian. If you go out and flock a dozen Italians together-, the chances are you will get a gun or two, anyway. You could handle one hundred-fifty, other men and you won't find a revolver.
Were they cleaning house? Had the opportunity presented they were going to go. The passports were got. Sacco says he went the last week in March to get information in regard to a passport. He learned somethings. He took the big photograph in on the 15th. Those show one thing or the other, they are telling the truth or not. Take it as you will. If all the men have lied about the 15th, it may be so. Believe it if you will.
She said they were cleaning house, that they came there, that they talked about getting the literature away, that they took those shells out, Vanzetti took the shells, whatever they were, and said he would sell them for propaganda.
Vanzetti, I am not speaking much about that man. I am going to put a little time on him. And the shells were taken out, that conglomeration of shells. They were going out to shoot those shells that afternoon out there. Were they to do what they said? They had written up this pronunciamento that they were going to have take place on the following Sunday. You heard the note read. The paper will be with you to read. He wanted to put this in the hands of the branches, to help their fellow men out and save deportation by getting rid of this stuff, not anything you would have them a Carnegie medal for, but a live issue to them.
And the revolver is on their person, the revolver Vanzetti has in his hip pocket, and Sacco carries it where, if you are acquainted with-and where since the war-police matters you will find where most men who have been across carry the gun that you read of from time to time in the belt rather than the hip pockets. They had those guns. Then did that prove they were guilty of the Braintree murder? I say all of Connolly take him out of this case, no other man on that car saw anything like Connolly saw. No other man heard the ring-the welkin ring with that wonderful voice when he made those fearful remarks to these poor men because they couldn't move their hand toward their stomach outside of their coats. Out of this case goes that, and if out of this case goes that, all question of conscious guilt shown you on that Braintree matter is out of this case. They have got to get conscious guilt in there someway. They have got to get conscious guilt into this case because that identification will not stand the test. It will not stand the acid test of truth. Vanzetti can only say to you he did not have Alvin Fuller, he did not have Louis Frothingham down there on this case to come in and testify to you. He has only got the poor people he traveled with and who know him, joking with the Jewish fellow, who sold him cloth. But the more my brother pricked that fellow, the more he began to ring true. He was funny as could be, but as he came along he told enough. He pretty near made an iron proof safe there. Did Vanzetti buy of him or did he not?
Vanzetti has given you the history of his days covering that period. He has been interviewed by the district attorney for over one hour, and if he was wrong in any one of those days other than that day it would have been read to you, and the failure to show error in one bit of Vanzetti's replies is absolute proof to you he pretty near told the truth on the witness stand.
Vanzetti, 11 years down there in Plymouth. You saw the mentality of that man. Is he intelligent? Would he be bobbing up and down at every station to see where East Braintree was? Coming to East Braintree, how about that depot master there? He has been interviewed by the state police. He told them a story. He told you a story. He told you that a month afterward, less than a month after he saw that same man and he saw him two or three times since, the man who got off there that day, the 15th of April. He was asked, "Weren't you interviewed by the state police?" "Yes." Why the fatal silence of the state police to contradict that man? Has any state official come forward , and contradicted that man at East Braintree when he tells that within a month afterwards he saw the same man get off at the East Braintree station and two or three times after that?
What does that mean? Only the ring of truth. Is that East Braintree man, the depot master, lying to save these two men with all the others? My brother, when he asked about Plymouth, "Did you go by there? What did the ticket say?" and so forth. My brother goes along. "Well, he could have bought the ticket, he could have got it at Seaside, couldn't he?" We brought the station agent from Seaside. My brother hadn't got it then. After cross-examining him he said, "Well, he could have got aboard the train at Kingston, couldn't he?" We brought the Kingston railroad man here and then he stopped. We were bringing them here just as fast as he wanted to show the tickets were bought and everything. They did not bring them.
They had looked it up. They knew if a ticket was bought along there that run and no cash fire paid. Investigation had satisfied them there was no such thing, and that is why they did not produce them and why we did. That passenger on the train, you saw him on the stand. He picked out the picture of the man that got off there. During some confusion I was conferring with the district attorney the man we marked 12-X in a jolting way. This man who was on the train, Parkhurst, though he picked this fellow out as the fellow, Vanzetti as the fellow he saw get on the train he don't know who was sitting beside him and don't know whether there were many Italians down there. "Do you know whether that is Vanzetti or not?" It only shows the man had seen a picture in the paper and was doing the best he could to try and pick up an identification.
You have all gone in a hotel with your friends. You have ordered your dinner from the waiter and the waiter was slow in getting around and you turned around and said, "Which one is our waiter?" You are getting disgusted. You want your dinner. Hasn't that happened to all of you? Identifications! Great Scott! We will know. I know my own brother pretty near got in trouble. There was a hold up in Boston. A man thought he was Henry McCarthy, thought he was his cousin. You know it. Different faces, different men. Identification of all things is the hardest thing in the world.
Now, the fellow who was here yesterday. May I have the signatures, the grocery book? He didn't testify to much, but just turn there. He talked volumes on three letters. There was some other papers with that. They are all together. Now, you have seen that. I have not even looked at this. I have not compared it all. You can look at it. You compare the entries. I won't take your time, but take that book out if you wish if Mr. Katzmann wants you and look over the items as he wrote them in the book and as he wrote them before. I will take any one of you men out of the panel under the excitement of this case, with a tremor in your hands, and you won't know your, own handwriting. Put any one of you men up there under the pressure of this case and you won't know your own handwriting.
Mr. Cole has testified. Cole picked out that fellow. He made us all happy for a minute. There had been an unknown artist here, I am going to name him. We had got almost through with a certain fellow. This fellow, you remember the fellow who came in behind the straw hat, that fellow. Well, that is the fellow there that Cole says that is Vanzetti. That is Vanzetti, that is the fellow who got on his car at Bridgewater. It looks like him. Well, Cole hasn't remembered. Cole says they were up there twice. Cole says he don't know whether he ran on that route two or three days in April. He can't tell. He says that that night that on the 5th of May when they were coming back that he charged 30 cents, and one had a quarter and the other 30 cents. Sacco says, "I know." Sacco knew. He had just gone up. He had to pay his fare up from Brockton to where he went, and he would be very short minded if he did not remember that fact when he was paying fare back. Now, that only means this man Cole is trying to do the best he can. He is identifying something.
We get back to another man, over a month, where we get that "young fellow." I did not even ask him in cross-examination what he meant by this "young fellow." The station man there, he goes out. Now, just take the human probabilities right there. In the first place he comes down to Brockton to see this fellow, and no other good reason than he has now, than he is now down to try to identify him, and it seems the papers of the affair had been in the house. He saw by the pictures in the papers, which papers were in the house, and the next day he run here from looking at those pictures, and he came down afterwards to Brockton.
What does he say? He says these fellows in this car, 40 feet from the railroad track or about there, that the car stopped. He was down there with his stop sign. These, gentlemen, are the men who committed the murder. They got the money in the car. They are trying to conceal it just as well as they can. What did they do? Pull their heads down on their shoulders? No. Vanzetti sticks his head out and yells at this fellow and wants to know what lie is stopping him for. How foolish that is. Didn't he know there were trains went up in front by him and knows? He did not have to ask him why he was holding him up. Take your own common reasoning, and if you come to a crossing and there is a flag man expecting a train comes out in front of the gates, tell me whether you will ask that fellow why he is holding you up, and you never committed a murder and trying to conceal yourself, stick your head out, a second passing, comes back and shouts at him again. If there is anything those fellows could have done to make themselves known what in the world was it if they were the men?
Mrs. Andrews, well, Mrs. Andrews when she was testifying, she picked out Exhibit 4. She picked out that exhibit to show just about where we are. She said that is the picture she pointed out to Mr. Moore as not being one of the men that was there at the Braintree shooting. She says that he showed her a folio, showed her some pictures, and the stenographic record shows that X is the picture that she says she pointed out to Mr. Moore as being not one of the men there. X-that is the man she pointed out to him as being not one of the men. I will pass it up to you. Mr. Moore showed her some pictures, and that was the one she told him was not one of the men there. We then had an intermission, gentlemen. After dinner she comes in and Mrs. Andrews takes the stand again, and she then says that this she thinks is the face that she pointed out to Mr. Moore as one that was there. That is enough, gentlemen. What she had for dinner was more than milk.
Yesterday she brought in a little help there from this poor lady, and I rather pitied her. Do you remember what she said? She said Mrs. Andrews said there that night or day when she was talking and telling her who it was- Mrs. Andrews said here she went up to the man who was under the machine-and Mrs. Andrews tapped him on the shoulder and asked him how to get into Rice & 'Hutchins. The man was under the machine, and this poor lady says Mrs. Andrews says she tapped him on the shoulder. She wasn't here, she did not hear all that, she was doing the best she could. It was rather weak.
But going back to my client, Vanzetti, all there is against Vanzetti is what? That he happened to be alive at this time, that is about all. We got Parkhurst, who has picked out anything but Vanzetti on the train; we have got Levangie, and take Levangie, and if you ever meet him tell him what you think of him. He says that Vanzetti was driving the car. And what else have you got now but the fellow up to Bridgewater? That is all there is against this man Vanzetti, except that he, unmarried, patriotic in his way, was after having been to New York and was going to go through and help his fellow men out.
And, gentlemen, it does seem awful when you just think of this case.
They are denied, you say. They are radicals. Please, what of
it? When they said-when Sacco said he hadn't worked at Rice &
Hutchins, it only meant one thing. If he disclosed that then he would
have disclosed the other and then he was liable for arrest. Isn't
that the whole thing, Gentlemen, in this case?
I assure you I know my brother's power. You know his honor and his ability, and I repeat to you that no district attorney ever had such a wonderful story to say to you as he can say here. But you gentlemen, you are here today, and may you live long, and I know that your decision when you make it in this case will be such that your feeling ever afterwards will be that you did right, that you did right in this case. It is easy to ask you to do that, mighty easy. It is almost hard for you to do it. You had right there in Braintree two men whose lives were snuffed out. No question about that. Somebody is guilty of that. This is not that case. That case is only incidental. Those lives were not incidental, but we are not joining issue on that murder. The only issue here is the identification, and when I say to you what I have said, I have passed the details of this identification, because no human mind can come to anything other than utter confusion as to that identification in every part of it. If it leaves anything .with you, it leaves the biggest, most wholesome reasonable doubt that ever was, and no man would want a friend of his convicted on that identification.
But unfortunately they were laying a trap for Coacci and Boda, and when that trap was sprung, Vanzetti and Sacco unfortunately were in it. That was the unfortunate thing for those two. Coacci was wanted, and he got it pretty quick, in his line. Boda was wanted when they were ready on him.
Now, gentlemen, that is all there is to this whole case except the very, very unpleasant feeling that you have, that you in your duty here that you have to spend your time and have been asked to, in a way, help men who you are not in sympathy with. I realize the burden I am carrying-I realize every bit of it -and I am asking of you men the almost impossible.
I want to say to you one of the pleasant things that occurs in this case-you may never know it before. That first venire man, the first fellow, he saw the wonderful work we had in getting the rest of them. There was the patience of the Court and the District Attorney, and almost every one was exhausted, but if you ever sat and tried a case as an attorney, you know our work. We knew one thing, however hard a task it was, I will say to you I did not want a man sitting upon the panel whose face I did not like. I am throwing no bouquets to you. We had a very funny experience here, Mr. Katzmann and I. He has been, as he always has been, a perfect gentleman.
One fellow came, and I liked the set-up of his face. Mr. Katzmann rose and said he did business for his father and did business for his client. I liked the fellow's make-up and Fred said he was a client and all that. Well, I took a chance on that fellow and I found afterwards he was one of the strong men for the acquittal, and it only-it was manly of my opponent to tell me of the relations that existed. It was manly of the fellow; understanding the situation he stood by his views.
There are men, 12, on this panel. You may be friends of mine. You may be friends of Mr. Katzmann. You may be friends of Mr. Williams. Be that as it may, we have selected you as being 12 men we are satisfied to look you in the eye and look you in the eye and feel there is no antagonism. That is a wonderful thing. We spent a lot of money to do it, a lot of time, but we got twelve men who appeared to us men.
We had confidence when we looked them right in the eye regardless of who he were; and I want to say on behalf of these men-I say it to those men and to their friends, that they have had every opportunity there, they have had every patience, every consideration. I want them to know that we have done-that everything has been done is Massachusetts takes pride in doing, granting to any man, however lowly his station, the fullest rights to our Massachusetts Commonwealth laws.
I have not said anything in this case but what I felt, gentlemen. I have not, and I want you to understand I have refrained from expressing any opinion. It is the highest conception "of our duty as attorneys that we secrete our personal opinions. It would be wrong for me to say, gentlemen, "I know this is so." It would be wrong for Mr. Katzmann to say he knew. It would be even wrong for the learned court to intimate to you how he felt. Our functions are clear. We argue the evidence that went on that stand. His Honor in the performance of the high duty imposed on him under the law states the law to you, and in connection therewith discusses such facts as are necessary that you understand the law, and so wonderfully clear that all the confusion leaves you. Those are the parts we play. And no man sympathizes any more with you when you walk from this room than I do. I know every one of you want to do what is right. We all want you to do what is right. Those two human beings in that dock want you to do what is right.
And when I say to you, gentlemen, when I ask you on this evidence of identification, every man right from the bottom of your heart, I expect on that evidence that you will say that the evidence does not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that those men were there. There can be no gainsaying that. Human logic doesn't stop; human reasoning doesn't fail because these two radicals are on trial. We cannot forget that we were gifted with will, memory and understanding when we were born, endowed with it rather than gifted. We ask that memory and will and that understanding here if ever when you are passing on human life, and I say to you the other part is merely unfortunate.
Take the little wife here, Vanzetti bidding her good bye, and asking her to send a message. What did that mean, gentlemen? Were they not parting then, she going home and her husband, expecting for the last time that this friend of her husband's would be with her? What did that goodbye mean; only the truth of our case, gentlemen.
Why, gentlemen, when you argue on this case, when you feel and feel properly for these men, your whole nature will recoil with anguish at the unfortunate position that they are being placed in by this situation. The truth of this case stands where I said it stood at the beginning, that there were times that were unfortunate, that their beliefs for them were unfortunate, that when at that meeting this man was delegated-he had not concealed that he went to New York, and you may have read or you may know, you may know or you may not what Sacco has said to you of what occurred there, that he reported it back to that meeting and then this followed, and as much is it ever could be proved from that source we have proven it, and, gentlemen, take it.
The dignity of that consulate, the Italian consulate. And there is as much pride and dignity in the heart of an Italian as there is in any other man and that Andrea is not going to falsify his name for a murderer though he be a fellow countryman; and a dignitary of that consulate says to you he was there on the 15th.
I am reminded, gentlemen, of one thing. Once I was trying with a man who was well known in this country. He has passed away. I was his junior, but he asked me to take the cross-examination. The witness testified to a pretty important thing. I said to him, "What will I ask him?" He says, "Take him over the hurdles." I says, "What do you mean?" He says, "Take him over the hurdles. Ask him about every other day but the day." He said, "He won't remember a blame one of them." That is what we call "taking them over the hurdles."
You testify to something that happened, something that occurred. You
meet with an accident on the 4th of July and there is two or three cars
in collision and it happens you get the whole situation. You go into
court, you want to prove your damages. A year after or six months
after the attorney for the defendant says, "You say you saw A. B. there.
He had on a light suit of clothing,-." "Who did you see two days before
that day who had on a light suit of clothing?" You don't know. "Who
you see 5 days before?"
It is an old story. If you thought he did know you would know he was telling a lie unless there was some outstanding feature. That is stock in trade. He dignified it by taking him over the hurdles. It is a practice as old as the hills. My associate friend if I named him many would know him. He dignified it by saying, "Take him over the hurdles,- ask him questions about every other, day and he will fall down." Of course he will fall down. Andrea fell down. This man Fay fell down. Any man would fall down on that. It is childish, it is boyish.
These men have been said to be the defense committee. Is a man who knows you are honest, who knows you were truthful, who was with you on the first day of April, is he wrong because he comes to your defense, because he becomes one of a defense committee? Is he wrong? If that is so, gentlemen, then these men are wrong. That is all there is to it. They are stigmatized with something if that is so.
I have tired you gentlemen. I have not wanted to. I never
stood on my feet in such a mass of confusion. The dust of that road
and everything stands out in my mind. Reed says there is no dust
on this car, no dust on the clothes of these men, and the only man on that
trip we made that way who wasn't dusty was Harold Williams, and he was
inside a closed car. Any one of this crowd of jurors, of those jurors
would have been arrested for a bandit if they got separated from the rest
of the bunch
that day. And this car had made the trip at 50 miles an hour. It had not gone always along like ourselves, and there wasn't a bit of dust on it when Reed sees it, but he only saw Vanzetti. You have driven automobiles and know a man cannot go 50 miles an hour with a car and that car not get dusty, front the time Neal saw it.
Well, gentlemen, that is all right. Don't blame Reed, don't blame any one, but, gentlemen, does such evidence as that warrant you to take the life of a human being? No, it does not. Be mighty careful. Let no outside thought or prejudice be in your mind for one second. Throw everything out of your mind until you step in here and then weigh that evidence there. Listening respectfully to everything the district attorney will say and giving it such weight as it ought to have. When through I could follow him and call your attention to a hundred questions that would seem unanswerable. The last man can ask every kind of a question and you can't get up and answer it, thought you would give a million dollars to do it. But you will listen to him as respectfully as you have to myself and associate.
Listen to his Honor's remarks as they are and always will be entitled to the greatest consideration, and when you retire to your room and deliberate on this, weigh with each other, weigh carefully with each other the whole thing. And it would seem in this case as you pass by one part and another, as you pass by the witnesses we have brought here, which have not been brought here otherwise, it must have a meaning to you, and what other meaning can there be to all of this other than the natural meaning, that this did not transpire as they say.
I will take all the blame-I will take all the lies that they say we lied about, we have lied all through every time they asked us where we were or our whereabouts, we lied just as well as that little wife did, and for that very reason. I am not asking sympathy for her in any way, remarkable little woman that she is. If her husband is a murderer, that is unfortunate for her, but that cannot stop justice being done, but if this case were what they say it was, if this case stood on its feet there would be no need to try to put Vanzetti in possession of Berardelliís gun, that never on the records was taken out of Iver-Johnson's. If this case had strength enough to stand on its own feet, it never would have been propped up by fiction; if that woman with whom Mrs. Berardelli lived from the day after her husband's burial and stayed with her five months, her friend, if what that woman told you on the stand wasn't true, then Mrs. Berardelli would have been called here to contradict her.
If that is true, then you know all this camouflage about the Berardelli gun is simply to put that gun into the possession of Vanzetti, and if that is Berardelliís gun, of course he is guilty, unless he got it through some circle, but you would say he was guilty and I would say he was guilty, and when I can say to you-and oh, I hate to repeat if, but it must ring your minds and hearts for that woman to say that the spring of that revolver was what was broken and they put a man on to tell you there is a new hammer in there, what can such work mean, not when two men have taken $125, but when the taking of all that is sacred in this world, when the preserving of prerogatives of the Almighty are involved, and such fabrication as that is here what can we think?
This case has no parallel in the history of Massachusetts criminal jurisdiction. I ask your consideration if at times we have taken time. We have had discussion, but we try to eliminate by our discussion at the bench evidence which would take considerable of your time if we did not do it. I thank every man of you from the bottom of my heart for the consideration you have given this case, and I want every man, too, of this panel to treat these two defendants as if they were your own individual brother. Take that as the test, not the other that we feel and what this evidence would make them out, treat them as though, as your brother. He came to this world by the same power that created you, and may he go from this world by the same power that takes you.
I thank you, gentlemen.
Sacco & Vanzetti Trial Page