Publication information
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Source: Liberty
Source type: magazine
Document type: editorial column
Document title: “On Picket Duty”
Author(s): anonymous
Date of publication: August 1903
Volume number: 14
Issue number: 12
Pagination: 1

“On Picket Duty.” Liberty Aug. 1903 v14n12: p. 1.
Leon Czolgosz (trial: personal response); Leon Czolgosz (trial: criticism); Leon Czolgosz (legal defense).
Named persons
Leon Czolgosz.


On Picket Duty [excerpt]

     The “Evening Post,” very properly disturbed over the increasing frequency of lynching, asks: “Have we already forgotten the thrill of pride we felt in the orderly and dignified trial of Czolgosz? Every privilege and immunity which the law affords to any man accused of crime were secured to that moral monster.” As a matter of fact, the boasted trial of Czolgosz was one of the most impudent shams ever lauded as the genuine article. Czolgosz had committed a murder; he admitted it; he gloried in it; there was no doubt about it; he made no defence; and, as far as the question of guilt or innocence was concerned, there was no defence to be made. The counsel assigned to defend him had but one duty to perform in justice to their client,—the duty of comparing the motive of this man who believed he had done a righteous act with the motives that ordinarily prompt malicious murder, for the purpose of securing a mitigation of the penalty. Instead of that, they simply saw to it that the forms of law were observed, for the rest abusing their client in the most outrageous manner, apologizing for appearing as his counsel, and holding him up to execration as a much worse man than the malicious murderer. And, because of this observance of the mere forms of law, the vainglorious American people, through newspapers in every way worthy of them, plume themselves on their orderly behavior, though the truth is that a crazier pack than they were at that moment never applied the torch to burn a negro at the stake. Than [sic] this shameful travesty of justice lynching itself would have been less repulsive to every man whose eye can pierce a fraud.



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