Source: Chicago Sunday Tribune
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “Day of Doom for Assassin Is Near”
City of publication: Chicago, Illinois
Date of publication: 15 September 1901
Volume number: 60
Issue number: 258
|“Day of Doom for Assassin Is Near.” Chicago Sunday Tribune 15 Sept. 1901 v60n258: part 1, p. 4.|
|Leon Czolgosz (trial: predictions, expectations, etc.).|
|Henry A. Childs; George B. Cortelyou; Floyd S. Crego; Richard Crowley; Leon Czolgosz; Edward K. Emery; George F. Foster; Joseph Fowler; Samuel R. Ireland; Frederick W. Kruse [identified as Edward F. Kruse below]; William McKinley; Francis P. O’Brien; Thomas Penney; James W. Putnam; Theodore Roosevelt; Truman C. White; James T. Wilson.|
Day of Doom for Assassin Is Near
Believed That Czolgosz Has Little More Than Seven Weeks to Live.
TRIAL TO BE SPEEDY.
Murderer of William McKinley to Face His Judge on Sept. 23.
FEW WITNESSES ARE CALLED
Buffalo, N. Y., Sept. 14.—[Special.]—Leon Czolgosz,
the assassin of William McKinley, has something over seven weeks to live. It
is planned to place him on trial on Monday, Sept. 23. No difficulty is expected
in securing a jury. It is believed that the trial will be ended by a verdict
of guilty rendered in three days and that by Friday, Sept. 27, Leon Czolgosz
will be under death watch at Auburn.
Six weeks must intervene between the pronouncement of the death sentence and its execution.
District Attorney Penney decided on his course today. He will not wait for the Supreme Court grand jury to convene, but will present the evidence against Czolgosz to the grand jury of Erie County on Monday morning. On the same day an indictment will be reported to County Judge Edward K. Emery. The assassin’s plea will be received, and if no attorney appears for him counsel will be assigned by the court. The case will then be sent to the Supreme Court for trial.
In the Supreme Court.
Three parts of the Supreme Court will open on
Monday, Sept. 23. Justice Henry A. Childs will hold Part I.; Justice Edward
F. Kruse, a close personal friend of Mr. Roosevelt, will sit in Part II., and
Justice Truman C. White will hold Part III. It is usual to try criminal cases
at this term in Part III., so that the chances are that Justice White will sit
in the Czolgosz case.
The trial should not occupy more than three days, so that within two weeks after the President’s death the assassin may be under sentence of death.
The witnesses who will testify before the grand jury are the secret service men, Ireland and Foster, Frank O’Brien of the Coast Defense Guards, and a number of eye witnesses.
Secretary Cortelyou will not testify, as he will be on his way to Washington, and it is not thought necessary to have his evidence. A draft of the indictment has been made by the District Attorney and is in the regulation form, charging murder in the first degree.
Trial to Be Dignified.
Czolgosz will be arraigned at once and his plea
of not guilty will be entered, for a man cannot plead guilty to murder in the
first degree. A lawyer will be chosen to defend him who can be counted upon
to preserve the dignity and proprieties of a court assembled for the solemn
duty of trying the assassin of the President. It is the concern of all interested
in the prosecution that the trial shall have every form of fairness, but that
the occasion shall not be belittled by pettifoggery. The best lawyer who will
accept the assignment will be detailed to defend Czolgosz. Those who are seeking
the appointment with an idea of gaining notoriety and advertisement through
it will be disappointed. The names of men like Richard Crowley of Lockport,
former member of Congress, are under consideration.
The attorney assigned to defend Czolgosz will receive $500 from the state.
A week from the day of arraignment will be deemed sufficient time for counsel to prepare the defense, so the trial will start on Sept. 23 beyond peradventure. District Attorney Penney anticipates no difficulty in drawing a jury. He said tonight that he thought that task would be easier than in the ordinary murder case. Probably every man on the panel will have formed an opinion on the guilt or innocence of the defendant, but that will not be a disbarment if a man can say that the opinion thus formed is one that could be removed by evidence. The defense and the people will be entitled to thirty peremptory challenges each.
Guard against Insanity Plea.
The only defense imaginable is insanity, and
to guard against that District Attorney Penney has caused Czolgosz to be examined
daily by Drs. James W. Putnam, Floyd S. Crego, and Joseph Fowler, who will be
prepared to take the stand and combat that theory.
At present, District Attorney Penney does not believe it will be necessary to introduce the confession of the assassin, which will be admissible in evidence if it can be corroborated in every detail. The direct witnesses of the murder will testify in such manner as to indicate premeditation.
According to District Attorney Penney’s calculations, Czolgosz will be under death watch in Auburn two weeks from Thursday or Friday. Six weeks must intervene between the pronouncement of sentence and its execution, so Czolgosz has something over seven weeks to live.
District Attorney Penney decided today that no inquest by Coroner’s jury was necessary, and discharged the jury which had been assembled by Coroner Wilson. The Coroner officially viewed the body and granted permission for the autopsy, which was performed later.