anti-red prosecutions took on a bad odor.
So overnight the questions of the police changed in form. They had been inquiring about the whereabouts of the prisoner on the evening of their arrest, May 5. Now, however, they began to demand information about where Sacco and Vanzetti were on December 24, 1919 and April 15, 1920. These were dates of payroll holdups at Bridgewater and South Braintree, in which the bandits got away.
The story of what has been done to these two workers since their arrest is a vivid narrative of persecution, intrigue, race prejudice, and third-degree police methods. There are times when the details approach incredible as in the Mooney and Billings case. Almost a parallel to the California conspiracy, this deliberate attempt to take the lives of two good men in Massachusetts is reaching its height at a time when the Mooney and Billings frame-up is collapsing under the weight of the confession of Detective Draper Hand.
Three factors weigh heavily against Sacco and Vanzetti. 1. They were Italians. 2. They were thinking workers, active in the New England labor movement for years. 3. They opposed the vicious and brutal methods of the Department of Justice against their comrades . . . Sacco was an edge-trimmer in a shoe factory, and Vanzetti a seller of fish.
Trial Full of Discrepancies
On flimsy "identifications" full of holes, the two prisoners were held in jail. Vanzetti was rushed to trial at Plymouth on the Bridgewater charge. One who reads the record of that trial will find many incongruities; will have frequent cause to wonder how the prosecution succeeded with such crude fabrication in building its case; why the attorneys for the defense did not manager better; why Vanzetti was never put on the stand to tell his own story. But the prosecution did succeed -- quite as the prosecution in the Mooney and Billings case did -- and put Vanzetti away for fifteen years.
Testimony of accusing witnesses was strange and inconsistent. One who identified Vanzetti as the shot-gun bandit at Bridgewater declared that he "ran like a foreigner -- like either an Italian or Russian," and insisted that men of these nationalities ran differently from a Swede or Norwegian. Descriptions of the bandits, given by certain witnesses at the preliminary hearing, were charged in vital details by those witnesses at the trial. Farther on in this narrative those contradictions are shown up in glaring detail.
Vanzetti 28 Miles Away
At least nine credible witnesses testified that Vanzetti was selling eels to them in Plymouth, 28 miles from Bridgewater, at the time of the crime. But Vanzetti was convicted
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