Sacco and Vanzetti by Watson Essay

Pages: 4 (1287 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: American History  ·  Written: April 19, 2019

SAMPLE EXCERPT . . .
They put the murder weapon in the possession of Sacco at the time of the arrest and they had a witness—Carlos Goodridge—who said he saw the pair in the getaway car and saw Sacco hanging out the window pointing a gun in his direction—“hanging out the passenger side firing at random” (Watson 122). However, in their defense, Sacco and Vanzetti ended up coming up with alibis: Vanzetti had been in the market selling fish; Sacco had been in Boston applying for a passport. Sacco’s friends testified that he had indeed had lunch with them at the time of the murder—but because they were intimates of Sacco, their testimony could not be trusted in the eyes of people who were already determined to view the pair suspiciously based on their affiliation with the anarchist group.

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In the trial, the gun that was taken off Sacco was shown to be the same weapon used to murder one of the victims. Yet when Capt. Proctor looked at the ballistics and tried to match the forensic evidence from the scene of the crime to the gun taken off Sacco he could not do so and he even stated that the evidence did not match—i.e., the gun possessed by Sacco at his arrest could not have been the murder weapon based on the ballistics testing done. At the trial, however, the prosecution painted a much different picture, which just went to show how easily the prosecution could falsify evidence and use experts to paint an untrue story in the courtroom. Felix Frankfurter himself was shaken by Proctor’s recanting and said that “it undermined any confidence in the conduct of the case” (Watson 276). Thus, Frankfurter was one voice who was able to look at the facts objectively and to put distance between the unseemly affiliation of the two men and the crimes with which they were actually charged.

Essay on Sacco and Vanzetti by Watson Assignment

The trial was, in fact, as though the anarchist group as a whole was being tried—not Sacco and Vanzetti themselves. The evidence was made to look as though the two were guilty—the eyewitness testimony of Goodridge, the guns, the getaway car, the casings—all of it seemed to point in the two men’s direction. Yet all of it was circumstantial and at second look insubstantial. The evidence was flimsy and yet the two men eventually were convicted and put to death.

The world watched, as Watson shows, while the two very likely innocent men were sent to their deaths. Though they were tried for the murders in Massachusetts, it was more like they were tried for being immigrant anarchists and part of a group of violent revolutionaries who had no problem sending bombs to people all over the world and destroying lives in that manner. The judge hearing the trial had held them in disdain because of their affiliations. Many in the public, however, viewed it as a miscarriage of justice because the men were not being tried for being members of an anarchist group but rather for murdering men during a robbery that they themselves argued they had nothing to do with. Their executions did not put an end to the story, however. The riots that took place around the world showed just how restless the global populace had become and how upset all those watching were with the U.S. justice system. At the end of the day, there was more to this case than met the eye.

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