Conviction of Czolgosz
HE was arraigned on Monday of last week before Justice White in
Buffalo; the case went to the jury on Tuesday; a verdict of guilty
was returned within thirty minutes; and on Thursday he was sentenced
to die by electrocution during the week beginning Oct. 28. The assassin
will be executed at Auburn prison. Applications are being made by
telegraph, telephone, and mail for permission to witness the electrocution.
The first application was made one hour after the President’s death.
The promptness of the conviction is gratifying to all. Over two
months elapsed between the time of the assassination of Lincoln
and the conviction of the conspirators responsible for his death.
The case was handled by a military tribunal. Guiteau was tried in
the Federal court of the District of Columbia. The trial lasted
over two months, and five more elapsed before he was executed. The
assassin of Mr. McKinley was given the full benefit of the law.
His only defence was insanity, but his counsel could not find a
single expert who would go on the stand and testify that his mind
was sufficiently unbalanced to save him from legal responsibility
for the deed. Despite his plea of “guilty,” which the court ruled
could not be accepted, the record was made up precisely as if the
State expected a vigorous defence. Every point was carefully established
by competent witnesses in the interest of absolute justice. Nothing
was developed during the trial showing the existence of a conspiracy.
Just before the judge pronounced the sentence of death, the assassin
declared: “There was no one else but me. No one else told me to
do it; and no one paid me to do it.” This was accepted as meaning
that his father and mother and relatives in particular had nothing
to do with the crime.