Tragedy in Dedham: The Story of the Sacco-Vanzetti Case

By Francis Russell | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER NINE
THE TRIAL: I

Judge Thayer's voice rasped as he looked down from the bench at the plump venireman from Brookline, the fourth in succession who had asked to be excused because he did not believe in capital punishment. "Do you set your opinion above the law?" the judge asked caustically. "Have you done anything to get the law changed? Have you seen your local representative about it?" The man did not know who his representative was.

From the look of the odd-lot prospective jurors who were passing through the courtroom on this first morning of the trial it seemed as if most of the able men of Norfolk County had managed to sneak their names off the jury list. The apologetic line filed by the bench-- fogies long past the statutory age, invalids, men who had been deaf for years, whose wives were dying and who had certificates to prove it, who were just about to sail for Europe, and finally the objectionable objectors.

Of course there were the occasional better prospects, but every time a man came along who looked educated or respectable, as if he might be somebody, Moore seemed bound to challenge him. That was the way it struck Jerry McAnarney. If Jerry had been going on trial for murder he knew he would rather take his chances with a businessman than with some fellow who dug sewers. But not Fred Moore; he wanted the sewer-digger every time. There was a young fellow Jerry had spotted in the line, a good clean-cut college type; as soon as Moore found out he worked for Page & Company, that finished him. Then there was someone McAnarney recognized from the New England Trust Company, the sort of man any defense lawyer

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