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Sacco-Vanzetli Trial: 1921

Vehement Appeals Follow

Over the next six years, the furor raged. Motion after motion for a new trial was denied. So-called experts examined the pistols, took them apart, wrongly reassembled them. Elizabeth Gurley Flynn raised $25,000 in two days to pay the advance legal fee of Harvard Law School lecturer and Massachusetts insider William G. Thompson, who replaced Moore, the radical outsider. Imprisoned criminals volunteered confessions.

The execution of two men who held radical views provoked outrage throughout the world. (Courtesy, Library of Congress) The execution of two men who held radical views provoked outrage throughout the world. (Courtesy, Library of Congress)

By 1926, with "Sacco-Vanzetti" a worldwide battle cry, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the state's highest, rejected an appeal. The International Labor Defense (ILD) (later to defend the Scottsboro Boys, [See separate entry]), set up by the communists, received only some $6,000 of millions raised in the names of Sacco and Vanzetti. Harvard Law professor Felix Frankfurter (later to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court), in an Atlantic Monthly article, attacked the jury, witnesses, verdict, and judiciary. The state's supreme court, having already rejected Thompson's appeal, now upheld the judge: He had committed, it declared, no errors of law or abuses of discretion.

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and Court Cases - 1918 to 1940Sacco-Vanzetli Trial: 1921 - A Car To Move Red Literature, Defense Committee Organized, Outdated Bullets And A Cap, Trial For Murder, Nothing Else