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The Sacco-Vanzetti Case and the Grim Forces Behind It


to meet with Trial Judge Webster Thayer, who was in Brockton trying some cases, and showed him one of the buckshot which he had kept as a souvenir. Judge Thayer asked where got it. This conversation was exchanged in a restaurant. Before the juror left the place the District Attorney Frederick Katzmann approached the juror and asked him for the laden pellet.

Katzmann telephoned to other jurors who had like souvenirs and said: "You've got something in your pocket I want." He cautioned these men not to disclose their findings outside. One juror, troubled, asked Katzmann if he thought it was a just verdict. Katzmann said it was commendable.

Judge Ignores Murder Count

Judge Thayer had not yet sentenced the defendant; and evidently he tried to cure the error -- for when he sentenced Vanzetti he ignored the conviction on the murder charge and sentenced only to the robbery count.

These statements about the shotgun shells are backed up by transcripts of the examination of various jurors by the attorneys for the defense, which will be part of the representations in their demand for a new trial for Vanzetti on the Bridgewater indictment.

Another piece of "evidence" -- the so-called bandit-car -- was never offered in the trial as an exhibit, although the prosecution took pains to let the jury see it through a doorway.

Palmer Sued for $100,000

Until a few weeks ago the Sacco-Vanzetti case had scarcely been heard outside of the Eastern Massachusetts industrial section. But by the force of the associations and the incongruities of the "identification" of the defendants, shown up in several independent inquiries, it has commanded the attention of leading journals of opinion and has pushed its way across the continent on the press wires.

Sacco and Vanzetti became figures of national interest when the wires carried news that Attorney General Plamer and Chief Flynn had been sued for $100,000 by the widow of Salsedo, who charged that they and three associates caused her husband's death.

Since Vanzetti's conviction new attorneys had been retained by the defense; attorneys who have been closer to the class-conflict than their predecessors. And the case has assumed international significance; for the Italian government, following a discussion of the affairs in the Chamber of Deputies, has ordered its consulate to make an exhaustive investigation. Sacco and Vanzetti are both Italian nationals.

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