The Faith of a Liberal: Selected Essays by Morris R. Cohen

By Morris R. Cohen | Go to book overview

think all those who wish to avail themselves of the best evidence on this case should also read The Letters of Sacco and Vanzetti, edited by Gardner Jackson and Marion Frankfurter.

It is to be hoped that someone will write a careful history, of the human side of the whole case, of all that went on behind the scene and caused the various changes of public, newspaper, and official opinion. But no one will have to write again concerning the trial and the evidence. Mr. Fraenkel has done it so as to leave nothing more to be desired.


21
A SCANDALOUS DENIAL OF JUSTICE: THE BERTRAND RUSSELL CASE

Nullius liber homo capiatur . . . aut aliquo modo distruatur . . . nisi per legale judicium parium. . . .

--MAGNA CHARTA, SEC. 39.

THE LEGAL SYSTEMS of all modern civilized people recognize the fallibility of judges of first instance, and therefore make provision for appeal and review. And our judicial statistics show that in a high proportion of cases the rulings of the first court have in fact been declared erroneous. The denial of the right of appeal is, therefore, a denial of justice. Such a denial is all the more grievous if it is due to pressure from a political or hierarchical source interfering with the due course of judicial proceedings.

In a number of famous instances, such as the Dreyfus case,

____________________
Published in the symposium volume The Bertrand Russell Case, edited by John Dewey and Horace Kallen ( 1940).

-198-

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