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Sacco-Vanzetli Trial: 1921

Bullets Convince Jury

At three o'clock, July 14, the jury retired. It immediately voted 10-2 for conviction. "Then," said one juror afterward:

[W]e started discussing things, reviewed the very important evidence about the bullets, and everybody had a chance to speak his piece. There was never any argument, though. We just were convinced Sacco and Vanzetti had done what the prosecution had charged them with.

Asked later what evidence impressed him most, another juror said:

The bullets, of course. That testimony and evidence on it sticks in your mind. You can't depend on the witnesses. But the bullets, there was no getting around that evidence.

The guilty verdict brought violent reactions around the world. American consulates and embassies in Europe and South America were flooded with letters of protest. The Communist International urged all communists, socialists, anarchists, and trade unionists to join in rescuing Sacco and Vanzetti. Demonstrations were mounted in France, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, and Scandinavia. It took 10,000 police and 18,000 troops to hold back the crowd besieging the American embassy in Paris. Bombs exploded in that embassy and around the world. One destroyed the home of one of the jurors. Judge Thayer's house was put under guard.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1918 to 1940Sacco-Vanzetli Trial: 1921 - A Car To Move Red Literature, Defense Committee Organized, Outdated Bullets And A Cap, Trial For Murder, Nothing Else