Press enter after choosing selection

Guiteau's Trial

Guiteau's Trial image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Scoville occupied the wbole of Wednesday, the third day of his arg u ment, in support of hisinsanitytheory. Nothing sensational happened nntil lie made an unexpected trraignment of (runt, Conklii'g, Arthur and other stslwarts, who, he held, were back of this prosecution, just to hide tlieir own ini'amy. This was unlooked tor, even by his associate counsel, Mr. Beed, who disapproves of it. The following is a report of what made a sensation in the court room: "But I teil you, gentlemen of the jury, back of this prosecution is an influence which I have feit and which you may feel, gentlemen, before this trial is concluded. There are politicians who seek to hide their shame behind the disgrace of this poor prisoner and make him a scapegoat f or their crimes I did not intend, gentlemen of the iurv. to take up this feature of the case.but when I f ound the power and influence of this government used against me, denying the small pittance that I have asked tor a fair and irnpartial trial and the small facilities needed for proper defense, I do not propose to keep quiet. I say that such men as Grant and Conkling and Arthur are morally and intellectually responsible for this crime. Mr. Conkling shall not escape, he shall not shirk the responsibility of the state of things that led to this act, and he shall not escape the eondemnation of the American people, if I can help it, for his share in this disgiaceful scramble for office that led to a conflict with the chosen ruler of this great nation, and led this poor, insane manto compass whatthey would have hailed with satisfaction, as would probably hundreds of other politicians, if it could occur other than through assassiuation, the removal of President Garfield, who stood in the way of their unrighteous and disgraceful struggle for offices. Neither shall Grant escape that eondemnation to which he is so justly subjected, when coming from Mexico and coming with undue haste to throw his ewn name into the petty quarrel about a small office in the Republican party, he sought to foment the differeaces that had sprung up." During the day Mr. Scoville received thefollowing telegram: New York, January 18, '82. To Mr. Scnville, Attoruey for (iuiteau. The New York[courtof appealshave just decided that the prosecution.where some evidence of insanity is produced for the defense, must make out the case of sanity beyond a reasonable doubt. ïbe second day of Scoville's address was a continuance of arraignment and complaint of the prosecution and of his review of the assassin's life. He judged vanity to be Mr. Porter's weak pomt, and cautioned the jury not to be too greatly impressed by his long finger, high temper and dramatic oratory. There was a big fee back ot 11 all, tor which he had prostituted his talents. The prisoner was permitted to address the court briefly in support of his request that the court charge the jury to this effect: that if they believe that Guiteau believed, at the time of the shooting, he was acting under a divine inspiration, they must acquit on the ground of temporary mania. The court said the matter would be taken into consideration. Mr. Scoville then reviewed the prisoner's life and said "When he left the Oneida Community he sought out Beecher's church, the Young Men's Christian association and the society of Christian people. His tendeneies at this time were.not immoral, nor ñad he shown any indication that the awful (with sarcasm) crime of not paying his board bilis for which this prosecution are trying to hang him - " Col. Corkhill - Oh, no. If he is hung at all it willbe for murder; not for owing board bilis. Guiteau called out: "I guess there ain't much chance of my being hung anyway." Mr. Scoville spoke of the monumental assurance of the prisoner in nam ing himself in connection with Grant, Conkling and Arthur. "I should say a pretty fine quartette," said the prisoner. Later on Mr. Scoville read froni Guiteau's speech, when Guiteau again called out: "You better nut read any more, Scoville. It will go dead against your fooi theory." Scoville concluded his rambling ar gument of flve days on Friday. He reviewed the testimony of the expert, Hamüton, and construed it as favoring the insanity of the prisoner, made a display of Dr. Kempstin's cast of Guiteau's head, and contended that Dr. Gray's tables of homicides by insane persons were made for this case, and do not correspond with the tables for the same years in his official report. He urged that laws are framed for the punishment of sane persons, not sane. He tried to anticípate Judge Porter's arguments and show their fallacy, and concludedbysaying: "It has often been said that our jury trials are a farce, and I have in my practico frequently heard it said that the jury system ought to be abolished, because juries make a mistake; because they are influenced by tlie eloquence of advocates ; because they are not influenced by justice, not by the evidence, but by the last address. B'it, gentlemen, I thank God that there was a time when wy English ancestry rttood up against wrong and injustice, and wrested from the despot the right of trial by jury.and I have never yet seen the time when I would wish to see that right abolished, I f eel more secure and more safe in this mode of administering justice than in any other. So long as juries are honest it does not require that you should have read Kent or Blackstone. It requires that you should have honest hearts and clear heads, and above all that you should be fearless to find for the right, regardless of what may come, regardless of whether your fellow-men may approve it or not. This is what I shall expect of you, gentlemen, and I believe you will do it. I leave the case with you, gentlemen, thaisking you for your kind attention. Guiteau had liis turn Saturday, taking up most of the forenoon. He spoke sitting in a chair, and from manuscript. He admitted that he was a lunatic on the 2d of July, when he flred on the President, and inquired: "Can you imagine anything more insane than my going to that depot and shooting the President?" He charged the jury as follows: "You are here to say whether I waí sane or insane at the moment I flred that shot. You have nothing to do with my condition before or since I flred. You must say byyour verdict, sane or insane, at the moment the shot was fired. If you have any doubt of my sanity at that moment, you must give me the benefit of the doubt and acquit. Or if you have any doubt that I fired as an agent of the Deity you must acquit. If I fired on my own account, I was sane. If I fired it supposing I was an agent of Deity, I was insane and you must acquit. This is the law as given in the New York courtof appeals, by recent decisión, and is worthy of this age of railroads, graphs and telephones, etc." After delivering his charge, and thanking his counsel, the courr, bailiffs and making complimentary acknowledgments to the jury, he proceeded to read the long address, heretofore published in the papers. Through most of the reading he was self-possessed, but was overeóme with emotion when he carne to the passage - "I have always served the Lord, and whether I live or die" - but soon recovered his voice, and proceeded in a natural marnier Alluding to the killing he said, in an airy manner, "When the time did come, I removed him gently and gracefully." In a wierd tone he chanted the stanza of "John Brown's Body," closing with "GJory, glory hallelujah," fcwice repeated.


Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat