Source: Timely Topics
Source type: magazine
Document type: article
Document title: “Czolgosz Found Guilty”
Date of publication: 27 September 1901
Volume number: 6
Issue number: 4
|“Czolgosz Found Guilty.” Timely Topics 27 Sept. 1901 v6n4: p. 56.|
|Leon Czolgosz (trial); Loran L. Lewis (public statements).|
|Leon Czolgosz; Loran L. Lewis; William McKinley; Robert C. Titus; Truman C. White.|
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 said:
“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 justice.”