Publication information

Case and Comment
Source type: journal
Document type: editorial
Document title: A Disgrace Averted
Author(s): anonymous
Date of publication: November 1901
Volume number: 8
Issue number: 6
Pagination: 205-06

A Disgrace Averted. Case and Comment Nov. 1901 v8n6: pp. 205-06.
full text
Leon Czolgosz (trial: personal response).
Named persons
Leon Czolgosz.

A Disgrace Averted

     A widespread fear that the trial of Czolgosz would prove to be a long-drawn-out exhibition [205][206] 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.