Publication information

Socialist Spirit
Source type: magazine
Document type: editorial
Document title: “How Justice Is Administered”
Author(s): Harman, Lillian
Date of publication: October 1901
Volume number: 1
Issue number: 2
Pagination: 29

Harman, Lillian. “How Justice Is Administered.” Socialist Spirit Oct. 1901 v1n2: p. 29.
full text
anarchists (Chicago, IL: incarceration); McKinley assassination (investigation of conspiracy: Chicago, IL: criticism); Chicago, IL (police department); law.
Named persons
Emma Goldman.

How Justice Is Administered

     After arresting thirteen men and women without warrant and holding ten of them more than two weeks, denied the right of bail, the Chicago police admitted that they had no evidence against their prisoners, who were therefore unconditionally released. This is a case which should receive cool, calm consideration. If the police had evidence to justify the arrest of these men and women, why was it not forthcoming? Only a few days ago these prisoners were held up to public execration as being such desperate criminals that they could not be trusted out on bail; they were to be extradited and possibly executed for complicity in the murder of McKinley. They and their friends have been hounded by the police and maligned by the public press. And for what? Absolutely no charge was made against them when their cases came up for trial.
     Thousands of dollars of the people’s money have been spent in the effort to obtain evidence against the “Free Society” workers and Emma Goldman. The police had possession of the house of the Isaaks; everything, even to the most private possessions of the prisoners was ransacked, and yet nothing to their discredit could be found. And now the question is, what redress have these people? The “Free Society” workers have lost nearly three weeks’ time, and their business has been seriously interfered with. Most of the others, besides losing their time, have lost their situations; Miss Goldman, in addition to losing her time, enduring insults and physical abuse at the hands of the Chicago police, is tried, convicted and condemned in nearly every newspaper in the country, from the metropolitan daily to the cross-roads weekly. Certainly the law offers a recourse to these people. They may bring suits for damages against the city, and for libel against the publishers who have slandered them. But it must be remembered that when city officials are prosecuted they defend themselves with their victims’ money—the money with which they defend themselves and carry the cases from court to court is that which we pay in taxes, and even if, after a long and expensive fight, a case is won against these officials, we, the taxpayers, bear the loss. Well may the city officials, from judges and prosecuting attorneys down, exclaim, “Heads, I win; tails, you lose!”
     And thus are the anarchists taught the erroneousness of their views; thus are they taught respect for the administration of the law; thus are they given a practical illustration of the defense it provides the weak against the strong!