Publication information

Bisbee Daily Review
Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial
Document title: “Protecting the President”
Author(s): anonymous
City of publication: Bisbee, Arizona Territory
Date of publication: 28 February 1903
Volume number: 6
Issue number: 221
Pagination: [2]

“Protecting the President.” Bisbee Daily Review 28 Feb. 1903 v6n221: p. [2].
full text
McKinley assassination (government response); presidential assassination (laws against); presidential assassination (legal penalties); anarchism (government response); anarchism (dealing with).
Named persons
Leon Czolgosz; William McKinley.

Protecting the President

     Ever since the assassination of President McKinley the feeling has been practically universal throughout the country that some law must be enacted to provide better protection against anarchist crimes. Such a law has now been passed by congress. It provides that the murder or attempted murder of a President or of an official in the line of Presidential succession shall be a crime against federal law and shall be tried in the federal courts. Death is the penalty fixed for such a murder, while the would-be assassin who attempts to kill the President but fails, may be either executed or subjected to a long imprisonment, the minimum term being ten years. In addition, the law provides that those who advocate or inspire such crimes shall be punishable by either fine or imprisonment.
     It is not to be supposed that any statutory decree will put an end to anarchy or afford a perfect safeguard against anarchial crimes. Murderous fanaticism is not to be wiped out by edict, as the history of Russia makes painfully clear. The new law, however, provides a sure and reasonably expeditious method of bringing criminals of this class to trial and effective punishment. Those who may contemplate such crimes have warning in advance that in whatever state they may attempts the deed, and whether they succeed or fail, they will be punished. Moreover, those who have misused the liberty of speech to advocate crime will no longer feel so free to impart criminal teachings to such mentally warped and morally weak creatures as Czolgosz.
     Taken together with the new regulations restricting the immigration of anarchists, the law should have the effect of checking the spread of crime and restraining the individual anarchist. At the same time it is in no sense an extreme measure and imposes no restrictions that any fair-minded citizen can regard as an invasion of constitutional rights or privileges.