Czolgosz is receiving
a considerable amount of sympathy from morbid cranks. It is extraordinary
how many morbid cranks there are. It used to be thought that San
Francisco was the special home of the morbid crank, but it is evident
that this particular style of crank is not confined to any one part
of the Union. It used to be quite a fad in San Francisco to fill
up a murderer’s cell with costly flowers, and if he was a brute
like Wainwright who choked his sister-in-law to death with his fingers,
he became doubly an object of interest and his cell became a bower
The same morbid sympathy is being
shown towards the cowardly Czolgosz. Presents of fruits and of flowers
are brought daily to the jail, coming from all parts of the Union,
and from people whom one could not imagine would be guilty of such
folly or such excessively bad taste. The prison authorities, however,
are wiser than those of San Francisco used to be. None of the presents
reach the murderer, but are promptly turned over to a hospital where
they do some good.
But what an extraordinary attitude
of mind is this. Yet it is not a rare one. The victim’s fate is
quite forgotten in sympathy for the murderer about to die. Such
people forget altogether that the victim of the crime was put to
death by the murderer without warning, and without compunction.
They forget the circumstances of the crime and center their attention
upon the criminal and wondering how they would feel if they were
condemned to death.
No man will suffer the death penalty
more righteously than Czolgosz. There could not have been a more
cowardly or a more dastardly crime. Most murderers are cowardly,
though not all homicides are. But Czolgosz’s case was peculiarly
cowardly, for it was committed when the victim had extended his
hand in courtesy and kindness. It was moreover a premeditated crime,
for he had followed the President about for days to get his chance.
To extend sympathy to such a ruffian and to soothe his last days
with gifts of flowers, or pamper his appetite with rare fruits,
shows most undoubtedly minds ill balanced, which cannot appreciate
or value the depth of crime and its heinousness.