August 15, 2007

OUR GREAT-GRANDPARENTS' GITMO:

The Saga of Sacco and Vanzetti: a review of Sacco and Vanzetti: The Men, the Murders, and the Judgment of Mankind by Bruce Watson (CHRISTOPHER WILLCOX, August 15, 2007, NY Sun)

[T]he jury of history is still out on whether Sacco and Vanzetti were guilty as charged. Defenders of Hiss and the Rosenbergs are getting scarce on the ground, and are limited for the most part to members of the Flat Earth Society, Marxist troglodytes, family, and close personal friends, now dying at a clip.

One thing is certain: Given the developments in criminal jurisprudence between the 1920s and now, it is highly likely that Sacco and Vanzetti would have gotten a second trial. Mr. Watson quotes none other than the late William O. Douglas, a justice of the Supreme Court, who, in 1969, cited the trial judge's various patriotic exhortations, the manner of jury selection, the identification of suspects without a police lineup, and "the saturation of the trial with the radicalism of the defendants." Things may have tightened up somewhat since Justice Douglas graced the high court, but not that much.

But history has a different burden of proof than "beyond all reasonable doubt," and it is clear that if Sacco and Vanzetti did not kill two payroll clerks in Braintree, Mass., they certainly were engaged in plotting to bring down the government of the United States and supported violence to that end. Indeed, their friends and associates were clearly implicated in the string of 1919 bombings that terrorized the nation and prompted President Wilson to launch his controversial raids that rounded up 4,000 aliens, holding many indefinitely without trial, and shipping others back to Europe, which was referred to at the time as a "Soviet Arc."


Back before George W. Bush turned us into a fascist state, we had sense enough to just execute such people.


Posted by Orrin Judd at August 15, 2007 8:53 AM
Comments

Sacco was clearly guilty, as modern ballistic tests have confirmed. Vanzetti might not have been guilty of murder at the time (he might not have been at the scene), but would as clearly be caught by modern felony murder rules today.

Posted by: Ibid at August 15, 2007 5:17 PM

I suggest you read my book before you blithely state that Sacco was guilty.

Posted by: Bruce Watson at August 17, 2007 7:30 AM

A felt need for him to be innocent doesn't make him so.

Posted by: oj at August 17, 2007 8:35 AM
« GEEZ, EVEN THE LEFTIES AT THE GLOBE HATE THE GAME: | Main | LOOKS LIKE CAPTAIN OZONE WILL HAVE TO KILL EL NINO: »