Czolgosz Found Guilty
Leon F. Czolgosz, alias Fred Nieman,
was found guilty Sept. 24, of murder in the first degree by a jury
in Part III of the supreme court in having on the sixth day of September
shot President William McKinley, the wounds inflicted afterwards
resulting in the death of the president.
The wheels of justice moved swiftly.
The trial of the assassin consumed eight hours and twenty-six minutes
and covered a period of only two days. Practically all of this time
was occupied by the prosecution in presenting a case so clear, so
conclusive that even had the prisoner entered the plea of insanity
it is doubtful if the jury would have returned a verdict different
from the one rendered today.
The announcement made this afternoon
by the attorneys for Czolgosz that the eminent alienists summoned
by the Erie Bar Association to examine Czolgosz and to determine
his exact mental condition had declared him to be perfectly sane,
destroyed the only stage of a defense that Judges Lewis and Titus
could have put together.
Before adjournment Justice White announced
that he would pronounce sentence upon the defendant on Thursday
afternoon at 2 o’clock.
All day the assassin had maintained
the old posture of steadfast indifference which has marked his conduct
since the shooting, eighteen days ago. Three times today his lawyers
asked him if he would not appear in the witness stand to testify
in his own defense. Each time he sullenly shook his head and stared
fixedly at the floor.
Not a word was spoken in his defense.
The pleading of Judge Lewis was verbally for justice, for law, for
the obliteration of hatred and prejudice. But the tears that fell
from his old eyes as he referred to the slaughtered President were
more eloquent than a world of evidence against the prisoner.
In condemning lynch law, Judge Lewis
“It is charged here that our client
is an anarchist, a man who does not believe in any law or in any
form of government. And there are, so we are told, other individuals
who entertain that opinion. We all feel that such doctrines are
dangerous, are criminal, are doctrines that will subvert our government
in time if they are allowed to prevail.
“Gentlemen of the jury, while I believe
firmly in that, I don’t believe it creates a danger to this country
equal to the belief, becoming so common, that men who are charged
with crime shall not be permitted to go through the form of a trial
in a court of justice but that lynch law shall take the place of
the calm and dignified administration of the law by our courts of