A Disgrace Averted
A widespread fear that the trial
of Czolgosz would prove to be a long-drawn-out exhibition 
of wretched pettifogging on the part of the attorneys of the accused
has happily proved groundless. Remembering the unseemly and painful
proceedings in the Guiteau Case, caused chiefly, to be sure, by
the accused himself, it is easy to see what wretched possibilities
exist if the accused in such a case is egotistic, vociferous, and
irrepressible, and has attorneys of the ordinary police court variety.
The action of the Buffalo bar association in asking for the appointment
by the court of two of the most eminent members of the bar to defend
the assassin is highly commendable. The action of those attorneys
in consenting to perform an unwelcome task also deserves much praise.
The result was that, without the slightest sacrifice of any right
of the accused, the trial was decent, dignified, and impressive.
It was with a great sense of relief that in the trial of this case,
on which the attention of the world was centered, our country escaped
the humiliation of such a jangle as the typical criminal lawyer
sometimes creates in a capital case.
The attorneys for the defense set
a worthy example for those who are called upon to defend criminals.
It is true that attorneys for accused persons rarely are called
upon to submit the case without making any real defense. In that
particular this case was exceptional. But attorneys of a lower grade
would doubtless have struggled in this case to put up some kind
of a defense, however false and preposterous. If defenses of that
kind can be eliminated from criminal trials the administration of
the law will be relieved of much that is discreditable.