Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti
In 1920, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were arrested for the killing of a guard during the robbery of a shoe factory in Braintree, Massachusetts. With their conviction, based on what some considered flimsy evidence, the two Italian anarchists became symbols and causes célèbre for liberals across the globe. Nevertheless, after several appeals, Sacco and Vanzetti were condemned to death and executed in the electric chair.
The following are excerpts from Vanzetti’s court statement:
“Now, I should say that I am not only innocent of all these things, not only have I never committed a real crime in my life–though some sins but not crimes–not only have I struggled all my life to eliminate crimes, the crimes that the official law and the moral law condemns, but also the crime that the moral law and the official law sanction and sanctify,–the exploitation and the oppression of the man by the man, and if there is a reason why I am here as a guilty man, if there is a reason why you in a few minutes can doom me, it is this reason and none else.
We were tried during a time whose character has now passed into history. I mean by that, a time when there was a hysteria of resentment and hate against the people of our principles, against the foreigner, against slackers, …
Well, I have already say that I not only am not guilty of these two crimes, but I never committed a crime in my life,–I have never stolen and I have never killed and I have never spilt blood, and I have fought against crime, and I have fought and I have sacrificed myself even to eliminate the crimes that the law and the church legitimate and sanctify.
This is what I say: I would not wish to a dog or to a snake, to the most low and misfortunate creature of the earth–I would not wish to any of them what I have had to suffer for things that I am not guilty of. I am suffering because I am a radical and indeed I am a radical; I have suffered because I was an Italian, and indeed I am an Italian; I have suffered more for my family and for my beloved than for myself; but I am so convinced to be right that you can only kill me once but if you could execute me two times, and if I could be reborn two other times, I would live again to do what I have done already.
I have finished. Thank you.”
1. What crimes are sanctioned by the church and the law according to Vanzetti? How has he become a victim of this crime?
2. To what “crimes” does Vanzetti admit his guilt? What is his attitude toward the treatment he has received by American justice? To what extent, does it seem, has anti-immigration sentiment caused the conviction of Sacco and Vanzetti?
3. Is it possible, given the political and emotional climate of these present times in America that a similar event could occur as what happened in 1920? Support your answer with facts.
This is the compelling story of two Italian immigrants – admitted anarchists – on trial for robbery. The Sacco-Vanzetti case personified the fear Americans had in immigrants, anarchists, communism, and other political radicals. As these two men were both immigrants and admitted to being anarchists and dodging the drafts, however, their guilt of the crimes is still debated today.
For more than six years the Sacco-Vanzetti case has been before the courts ofMassachusetts. In a state where ordinary murder trials are promptly dispatchedsuch extraordinary delay in itself challenges attention. The fact is that along succession of disclosures has aroused interest far beyond the boundariesof Massachusetts and even of the United States, until the case has become oneof those rare which are of international concern. The aim ofthis paper is to give in the briefest compass an accurate résumé of the factsof the case from its earliest stages to its present posture.
Sacco and Vanzetti – Usa Online Essays
The Sacco and Vanzetti case was unjust, unfair, and extremely one sided. Sacco and Vanzetti were convicted because of their radical beliefs and ethnic background.
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Investigations in the aftermath of the executions continued throughout the 1930s and 1940s. The publication of the men's letters, containing eloquent professions of innocence, intensified belief in their wrongful execution. Additional ballistics tests and incriminating statements by the men's acquaintances have clouded the case. On August 23, 1977—the 50th anniversary of the executions—Massachusetts Governor issued a proclamation that Sacco and Vanzetti had been unfairly tried and convicted and that "any disgrace should be forever removed from their names". Writer Bruce Watson, in his introduction to the 2007 re-printing of , noted "Sacco and Vanzetti are still on trial and probably always will be."
Sacco and vanzetti case essay - Little Pixel Studio
Celebrated writers, artists, and academics pleaded for their pardon or for a new trial. Harvard law professor and future Supreme Court justice argued for their innocence in a widely read article that was later published in book form. Sacco and Vanzetti were scheduled to die in April 1927, accelerating the outcry. Responding to a massive influx of urging their pardon, Massachusetts governor appointed a three-man commission to investigate the case. After weeks of secret deliberation that included interviews with the judge, lawyers, and several witnesses, the commission upheld the verdict. Sacco and Vanzetti were executed in the electric chair just after midnight on August 23, 1927. Subsequent riots destroyed property in Paris, London, and other cities.