of Death Passed
Upon Leon F. Czolgosz
Week of Oct. 28th is the
Time-He Made No
Harangue in Court.
few minutes after two o'clock this afternoon Leon F. Czolgosz
He will be executed at Auburn during
the week of Oct. 28th.
When given opportunity to speak before sentence was passed, he
said very little. He made no harangue.
He simply asserted that his relatives
had nothing to do with the killing of President McKinley; that
no one but himself had anything to do with it.
from the crowds that flocked to the city hall shortly after 1 o'clock
today there was more public interest in the sentencing of the assassin
of the President than there was in his trial. The crowd began to
gather early and was persistent and unruly. For some unknown reason
the police on the exterior of the hall did not exercise the same
care as during the two days of the trial in keeping the merely curious
out of the city hall. The result was that before 1.30 o'clock there
were crowds in the lower corridor of the building, and on the second
floor corridor off of which the court room opens. A strong detachment
of police took possession of both corridors about half an hour before
the time fixed for the convening of the court and quickly cleared
a passageway leading from the tunnel in the basement up the two
flights of stairs to the entrance to the court room Every-body was
driven back to a safe distance.
Those who succeeded upon one pretext or another
in getting beyond the police guard at the landings of the stairs
clamored for admittance at the court room. Many of them were not
equipped with passes and were driven back by the police and court
officers. Nevertheless they continued to linger near the entrance
until the corridor was congested. Police Inspector Donovan then
arrived, and with a detail of police drove the crowd away. The crowd
kept drifting into the city hall and soon the police were forced
to resort to rough tactics and threaten the throng with clubs in
order to maintain a semblance of order. The city hall was in an
uproar. The police had not anticipated the arrival of such crowds
and fell down badly when the critical time came. The people on the
outside became rattled, and the people poured through the lines.
The timely arrival of Supt. Bull on the scene relieved the situation
somewhat and brought order out of chaos.
Shortly before 2 o'clock the police took hold
of the situation with a firm hand and cleared the struggling mass
of people out of the corridor on the second floor and out of the
a portion of the corridor on the first floor. The babble of voices
in the corridor without the court was deafening.
At 1.58 o'clock Judge Titus of counsel for the
defense arrived in the court room. Almost immediately afterward,
the assassin was brought out of the tunnel. Chief Detective Cusack,
Detectives Solomon and Geary and a squad of police surrounded him.
With a rush, the prisoner was hurried up stairs and into the court
room. It was accomplished so quickly that the crowd forgot to hiss.
Inside the court room the crowd was standing so
thickly in the aisle that the court officers were forced to clear
a way for the prisoner.
The assassin was nervous when brought into court.
His face was flushed and his lips trembled as the detectives removed
the shackles from his wrists. He drew a handkerchief from his pocket
and lifted it to his eyes.
"He's crying," whispered the crowd.
But he wasn't crying. When he lifted his head
his eyes were perfectly dry. He regained his composure quickly.
At about the time the prisoner came in District
Attorney Penney entered.
At 2.02 o'clock Justice White walked into the
Crier Frank W. Hess had extreme difficulty in
clearing a passageway for the court.
He Made Faint Answers
to the Questions
Put to Him.
As soon as Justice White assumed the bench. Crier
"Pursuant to a recess, this trial term of
the supreme court is now open for the transaction of business."
District Attorney Penney said:
"If your honor please, I move sentence in
the case of the People vs. Leon Czolgosz. Stand up, Czolgosz."
Clerk Fisher swore the prisoner as follows:
"You do solemnly swear that you will true
answers make to the questions that shall be put to you, touching
your name, age, occupation, and previous place of residence."
"Leon, how old are you?" asked Mr. Penney.
"Where were you born ?"
"What is your age?"
"Where did you live?"
"On Broadway. Nowak's place."
"Are you married or single?"
"What schools have you attended ?"
"The common school and parochial."
"What church, the Catholic church?"
"What church were you educated in? Did you
go to the Catholic church?"
"Are your father and mother alive?"
"Which is dead?"
"Father is living."
"Are you temperate? Do you know what that
means? Do you drink much? Do you drink intoxicating liquors much
"Do you ever get drunk? Are you in the habit
of getting drunk?"
"Have you ever been convicted of any crime
Mr. Fisher, the clerk of the court then asked:
"Have you any legal cause to show now why
the sentence of the court should not now be pronounced against you?"
"I can't hear that," replied the prisoner.
Clerk Fisher repeated his question and Czolgosz
"I'd rather have this gentleman here speak,"
looking towards District Attorney Penney. "I can hear him better."
At this point Justice White told those in the
court room that they must be quiet or they would be excluded from
Mr. Penney then said to the prisoner:
"Czolgosz, the court wants to know if you
have any reason to say why sentence should not be pronounced against
you. Have you anything to say to the judge? Say yes or no."
The prisoner did not reply, and Justice White,
addressing the prisoner, said:
"In that behalf, what you have a right to
say relates explicitly to the subject in hand here at this time,
and which the law provides, why sentence should not be now pronounced
against you, and is defined by the statute in the following words:
"The first is, that you may claim that you
"The next is, that you have good cause to
offer either in arrest of the judgment about to be pronounced against
you, or for a new trial. Those are the grounds specified by the
statute in which you have a right to speak at this time, and you
are at perfect liberty to do so if you wish."
The prisoner replied: "I have nothing to
say about that."
The court said: "Are you ready?"
Mr. Penney replied: "Yes."
"Have you anything to say?" asked Justice
"Yes," replied the prisoner.
Judge Titus said: "I think he should be permitted
to make a statement in exculpation of his act, if the court please."
The court replied: "That will depend upon
what his statement is."
Justice White then said: "Have you (speaking
to Judge Titus) anything to say in behalf of the prisoner at this
"I have nothing to say within the definition
of what your honor has read," replied the attorney. "But
it seems to me that in order that the innocent should not suffer
by this defendant's crime, that the court should permit him to exculpate
at least his father, brother and sisters."
From the court: "Certainly, if that is the
object of any statement he will make. Proceed."
Then the prisoner said: "There was no one
else but me. No one else told me to do it; and no one paid me to
Judge Titus repeated it, as follows, owing to
the prisoner's feeble voice:
"He says no one had anything to do with the
commission of his crime but himself; that his father and mother,
and no one else had anything to do with it, and knew nothing about
The prisoner continued: "I was not told anything
about that crime, and I never thought anything about that until
a couple of days before I committed the crime."
Judge Titus again repeated as follows:
"He never told anyone about the crime, and
never intended to commit it until a couple of days before its commission."
Penalty of Death Pronounced
by Justice White--Week of Oct.
28th the Time.
Then Justice White passed sentence as follows:
"In taking the life of our beloved President,
you committed a crime which shocked and outraged the moral sense
of the civilized world. You have confessed that guilt, and after
learning all that at this time can be learned from the facts and
circumstances of the case, twelve good jurors have pronounced you
guilty, and have found you guilty of murder in the first degree.
"You have said, according to the testimony
of credible witnesses and yourself, that no other person aided or
abetted you in the commission of this terrible act. God grant it
may be so. The penalty for the crime for which you stand convicted
is fixed by the statute, and it now becomes my duty to pronounce
this judgment against you.
"The sentence of the court is that in the
week beginning October 28th, 1901, at the place, in the manner and
means prescribed by law, you suffer the punishment of death. Remove
Weak and His Expression
Was of Fear.
Czolgosz sat down. He was quite calm, but to one
who watched him closely it was evident that his mind was flooded
with thoughts of his own distress. His eyes were dilated until the
pupils were as large as the end of a thimble. They made his eyes
seem very bright. His temples glistened with perspiration; his hands,
so the detectives said, were as cold as ice, and were moist. His
cheeks were just a trifle pale, and his hand, when outstretched,
was unsteady. His weakness and his vanishing strength were well
indicated by his difficulty of speech.
Still the prisoner did not fall into his chair,
nor did he drop into it hurriedly if glad to rest. He lowered himself
very naturally, put his hands on the arms, wiped his forehead and
cheeks with his handkerchief, and listlessly tapped the end of the
chair arms with his fingers.
Solomon took his left hand, put the handcuff on the wrist and then
affixed it to his own wrist. Czolgosz had, during the ten or fifteen
seconds before this, looked steadfastly at the floor. Now he looked
at Solomon. There was an expression of the profoundest fear and
helplessness in his eyes. He glanced about at the field of heads
which were crowded together in efforts to have a view of him. Every
eye was cold; none beamed with the slightest sympathy. He looked
again at the floor in front of him.
Detective Geary took the right arm, put a handcuff
to it, and started to attach it to himself. At that juncture Judge
Titus stepped over and said in a kind voice to the assassin:
"Well, Czolgosz, good-bye." ,
Czolgosz replied very faintly, letting his eye
for the instant rest upon the man who had been his counsel.
"Good-bye," he said tremulously.
Instinctively he extended his hand to the attorney,
who grasped it and shook it.
The judge turned away. Several women pushed their
way into the knot of persons who were clustered about him and looked
glaringly at him. Men did likewise. Czolgosz kept his eyes on the
floor. A bustle sounded through the court room. The word "Death!"
was heard repeated several times. The sound must have reached Czolgosz
above the suppressed bustle, but it caused no change in the expression
of his face, no more than it did when Judge White, in a loud, stern
voice, spoke it in pronouncing the sentence. Fear of death has not
seemed to worry the assassin; the only thing which had perturbed
him has been fear of mob violence.
Detective Solomon put Czolgosz's hat on its owner's
head, and said "Come on," in a voice
seemingly intended to inspire the condemned man with some strength
if he were bordering on a collapse, as it was thought he might.
The assassin stood up firmly and took in a view
of the crowd all about him. The court officers cleared the aisles,
the policemen outside got everyone back so there was a clear way
through the corridors.
Then began the last trip of the assassin from the court room where
one of the concluding chapters of a terrible drama in which he was
the despised figure, was enacted.
Czolgosz looked neither to the right nor left.
He walked as uprightly and as firmly as he did on any other occasion.
Down the stairs, past a line of people, by the mourning emblems
which mark the memory of the great man who became his victim, the
assassin walked. The crowd was silent. But the instant the assassin
and his escort disappeared down the dark stairway, which leads to
the tunnel, the people sighed, as if in great relief, and business
Commercial, September 26, 1901.
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