of Securing the Jury-
Unusually Rapid Progress
further, Mr. District Attorney?" asked the court.
"I move the trial of Leon F. Czolgosz,"
replied Mr. Penney.
calling of jurors was then begun.
first juror called was Frederick V. Lauer, a plumber living at 1048
Michigan street. In response to questions put by District Attorney
Penney, he said that he could consider the evidence in the case
fairly and render an impartial verdict.
The cross-examination by Judge Lewis seemed to
reveal the line of defense which will be followed.
"If a reasonable doubt is raised in your
mind as to the sanity of this defendant would you be willing to
convict this defendant?" asked Judge Lewis.
"If a reasonable doubt is raised, I might
not," was the reply.
"But if the testimony indicates that this
man is insane, would you convict him?"
"I am satisfied," said Judge Lewis.
Mr. Penney also was satisfied, and Mr. Lauer was
sworn and took his place in the jury box as juror number one.
next juror called was Richard J. Garwood of 140 Hoyt street, a foreman
for the Buffalo Railway Company.
Mr. Penney asked him the customary questions as
to whether he could render a fair and impartial verdict, and upon
giving satisfactory answers he was turned over to Judge Lewis.
Judge Lewis questioned him at length. "Have
you formed an opinion in this case?" asked Mr. Lewis.
"Yes, sir, I have."
"Have von expressed your opinion?"
"Yes, I think I have."
"Is that opinion so strong that evidence
could not change it?"
"I think not."
"Notwithstanding that opinion could you carefully
weigh the evidence and render an impartial verdict?"
"We accept," said Judge Lewis.
Garwood was sworn as the second juror. The third
man called was Joshua Winner, a farmer of North
Collins. He told the district attorney that he had read all about
the case and had formed a strong opinion.
"If you were sworn as a juror in this case
could you render a fair and impartial verdict notwithstanding your
"I think so."
"Do you know of any reason why you cannot
be a fair and impartial juror?'
"No, sir, except that I have an opinion.
Judge Lewis was not satisfied with the juryman
and he excused him.
W. Wendt, manufacturer, living at 335 Jersey street, was the next
juror called. He told the district attorney that he knew of no reason
why he could not serve as an impartial juror.
"You have formed' an opinion in this case?"
asked Judge Lewis.
"And it would take evidence to remove that
"Yes. I suppose it would."
"Could you set aside your opinion and fairly,
weigh the evidence presented here?"
"And if the evidence were such as to create
a reasonable doubt as to the defendant's guilt, could you give him
the benefit of that doubt?"
"Yes, if there was a reasonable doubt."
Mr. Wendt was accepted and sworn as the third juror.
Horatio M. Winspear was next called. He is a farmer
living at Elma.
"Do you believe in the infliction of capital
punishment in cases of murder in the first degree?" asked Mr.
"Well, I don't know," replied Mr. Winspear.
"There seems to be some doubt about it?"
"There is a little."
"If the defendant were proven guilty of murder
in the first degree could you vote for his conviction, knowing that
the penalty is death?"
"Yes, I think I could."
"Do you believe in the government of the
"Yes, I do."
After Mr. Lewis had questioned Winspear at some
length, Mr. Penney excused him, evidently fearing his prejudice
against the infliction of the death penalty.
George Kuhn, a baker living at 468 High street,
had too strong an opinion in the case and was excused by Justice
John Delliott, a Grand Island farmer, was next
"Do you believe in the constitution and government
of the United States?" asked Mr. Penney.
"Do you believe in capital punishment?"
"Would you vote for his conviction knowing
the penalty to be death?".
"You would not?"
"I ask that the juror be excused."
In answer to Judge Lewis's questions, the juryman
declared that he would vote for conviction if the evidence warranted
it, notwithstanding the fact that the penalty is death.
"You would not hesitate to vote for conviction?"
The juror was finally excused by the people.
Carmer, a farmer living at Clarence, who was the next juryman called,
said he had made up his mind as to the guilt or innocence of the
"Could you render an impartial verdict in
this case in accordance with the evidence ?"
"I think I could."
"Is your opinion pretty strong?" asked
"Yes, sir; I guess it is."
"And it would take evidence to change that
"I should say it would."
"Would you be willing to acquit this defendant
if the evidence in his favor was sufficient?"
"It would have to be pretty strong evidence."
"But if the evidence were such as to raise
a reasonable doubt in your mind as to the guilt of this defendant
would you give him the benefit of the doubt and vote for his acquittal?"
"Yes, sir, I should."
"What we want to know is whether your mind
is in such a condition that you can sit on this jury and give this
man a fair and proper trial, and could render a verdict according
to the evidence. Do you think you could do that?"
"We have no objections," said Judge
Mr. Carmer was sworn as the fourth juror. It was
then 11 o'clock.
Herman B. Tauber, a railroad clerk living at 532
Eagle street, declared that he believed in the government of the
United States, and could render a fair and impartial verdict. In
answer to Judge Lewis's questions, however, he admitted his opinion
as to the guilt of the defendant was firmly fixed, and the court
Dennis T. O'Reilly, life insurance agent living
at 147 Prospect avenue, said he believed in the constitution and
the government of the United States and that he could render a fair
and impartial verdict.
To Judge Lewis, he declared he had not formed
an opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the defendant. Then he
admitted that he had formed a kind of an opinion.
"Is that opinion so strong that you could
not consider evidence impartially and give it its due weight?"
"No, sir, it isn't, but I don't want to sit
on this case."
"We are satisfied," said Judge Lewis.
"We excuse him," said Mr. Penney.
It was evidenct that Judge Lewis was not inclined
to be captious concerning the qualifications of jurors and that
he did not wish to delay the case.
Frederick Langbine, a farmer from Hamburg, was
next called. He has lived in Lake View for 27 years, having been
a railroad man until two or three years ago, when he took to farming.
He came from Germany in 1860, and is now a citizen.
He told Mr. Penney that he believed in the United
States government, in the law and in capital punishment.
"You know of no reason why you can not sit
in this case and give a fair and impartial verdict?" said Mr.
In answer to Judge Lewis the talesman said that
he had formed no opinion. He said that he read the papers only once
"Do I understand you to say that you have
formed no opinion?" from Judge Lewis.
"I have not."
"Have you discussed it with your neighbors?"
"Refrained from expression of your opinion
"Are you a married man?"
"Have you not expressed your opinion to your
"Nor to your children?" asked Judge
"No, sir, not to them."
"No objections," said Judge Lewis.
"We will excuse him, sir," said Mr.
Assemblyman George Ruehl, a barber at 130 Eaton
street, was called next. He told Mr. Penney that he knew of no reason
why he could not be a fair and impartial juror.
"You are a barber?"
"Heard people talk about it in your shop
and have talked with them, have you not?" asked Judge Lewis.
"More people have talked to me than I have
talked to," was the assemblyman's reply.
"You must be one of those barbers who do
not talk," commented Judge Lewis.
"We will excuse Mr. Ruehl," said Judge
Wallace A. Butler, a farmer of Sardinia, was the
next talesman called. He knew of no reason why he could not be a
fair juror, when asked the usual questions by Mr. Penney.
"You have formed an opinion, have you not?"
asked Judge Lewis.
"Yes, but I am not very set."
"Can you conform to the requirements of the
"Well, it is pretty strong."
"So strong that you would not abide by the
"Well, not so strong as that, but it would
require pretty strong evidence."
Judge Lewis challenged the juror and the court
S. Stygall, Jr., plumber, of 44 Normal avenue, was next. He answered
Mr. Penney's questions satisfactorily,
"Is your opinion so strongly fixed that you
can not set it aside?" asked Judge Lewis.
"Could you acquit him, if a reasonable doubt
was raised in your mind?"
"You are sure you can do that, give him the
benefit of a reasonable doubt?"
"Satisfactory," said Judge Lewis.
"Satisfactory to us," responded Mr.
Mr. Stygall was then sworn in and took his seat as the fifth juror.
11.29 o'clock, John G. Milburn came into court. Everybody turned
to see him. He walked up to the court clerk's desk, and then sat
down in a press seat near Senator Davis. Mr. Milburn put on his
glasses and looked at Czolgosz. Then he spoke to Senator Davis and
Mr. Davis nodded.
Mr. Milburn looked at the prisoner again, long
and steadily. The expression on Mr. Milburn's face was not a pleasant
one. It wasn't exactly an expression of anger but it was an odd
mixture of sorrow, contempt and pity.
Frank J. Lutz, a clerk, living at 906 Glenwood
avenue, was next called. He told the district attorney that he was
a grocer working for himself. He had been in business since May.
"Do you believe in the constitution and laws
of the United States?" asked Mr. Penney.
"I do," was the reply.
"Do you believe in capital punishment?"
"Do you know of any reason why you cannot
sit on this jury and render an impartial verdict?"
"I do not."
Lutz contradicted himself so often, in answer
to Judge Lewis's questions, that he was finally excused by the defense.
The next juror called was Michael McGloin, a carpenter
living at 780 North Division street. He said he believed in the
constitution and laws of the United States. In answer to Judge Lewis's
questions, he said that while he had formed an opinion in the case,
he could sit impartially as a juror and dispose of the case.
"Could you give the defendant the benefit
of all the institutions and laws of this country?"
"And if there was a reasonable doubt as to
the defendant's guilt or innocence could you give him the benefit
of that doubt?"
McGloin was satisfactory to the defense, but Mr. Penney excused
Loton, a farmer of Eden, was next called.
"Do you believe in capital punishment?"
asked Mr. Penney.
"I do," with a snap of his teeth.
"You have formed an opinion?"
After a few more questions, Loton was declared
satisfactory to both sides and took the last seat in the row of
six next to the wall in the jury box at 11.45 o'clock.
Senator Timothy E. Ellsworth
of Lockport appeared at 10 minutes to 12 o'clock. Senator George
A. Davis gave him his seat at one of the press tables. Senator Davis
then left the court room.
of Town Judges.
Hammond of the supreme court and Judge Sherman of the superior court
of Massachusetts came into the court a few minutes before 12 o'clock.
Justice White shook hands with them and Clerk Fisher gave them chairs
at his desk.
Benjamin P. Lang, a grocer, living at 86 Cherry
street, answered the district attorney's questions satisfactorily
and was then examined by Judge Titus. As it was developed that he
was not a property owner, he was excused by the court as not possessing
the proper qualifications to serve as a trial juryman.
Otto F. Hager of Grand Island was next called.
He worked in a music store two or three years ago. Afterwards he
went into the beer cooling business. He said he could render an
impartial verdict in the ease.
"Have you ever served as a trial juror before?"
asked Judge Titus.
"In this city?"
"In what case?"
"In the case of Montgomery Gibbs."
"Were you ever examined by the jury commissioners?"
"Your honor, the sheriff evidently has made
a mistake in this case," said Judge Titus. "This man is
down on the jury list as being a music dealer at 172 Broadway. This
juror says he lives on Grand Island, and has never been examined
by the commissioners of jurors."
Mr. Hager was excused.
E. Everett, a blacksmith, living at 176 Fifteenth street, was the
seventh juror accepted, being satisfactory.
Will be Held from 10 to 12
O'clock in the Morning and from
2 to 4 in the Afternoon.
C. Ralph, assistant cashier of the Third National Bank, who lives
at 310 Woodward avenue, was called to the witness stand. Before
his examination was begun, Judge Lewis addressed the court as to
the hours of the trial.
"Now about the hours we are to sit here,"
said Judge Lewis to Justice White. "Neither Judge Titus nor
myself is a young man, especially myself, and neither of us is in
perfect health. We have had very little opportunity to consult with
each other since we concluded to abide by our designation as counsel
for the, defendant. Now, we believe the trial will not be injured
by having short hours. We need some time for consulting, and after
a conversation with the district attorney, we have concluded to
ask your honor, during this trial, to sit from 10 to 12 o'clock
in the morning and from 2 to 4 o'clock in the afternoon. I mention
4 o'clock in the afternoon because my home, my summer home, is in
Lewiston, and my train leaves at 4.40, and I am not inclined, unless
absolutely compelled to do so, to find an abiding place here in
the city while my family is at Lewiston.
"That is our request, that those be the hours
fixed, and we believe that the trial can be as expeditiously concluded
as if we were compelled to work here longer than our health will
Justice White said:
"I believe the request is a proper one, and
the court is inclined to grant any reasonable request which the
counsel may make, owing to the onerous pad unpleasant task which
you have assumed. The hours will be fixed as requested."
lacked a few minutes of 12 o'clock when this question was finished
and the court directed that Mr. Ralph be examined. He told District
Attorney Penney that he could render a fair and impartial verdict
upon the evidence as presented.
Could you give the defendant the benefit of a
reasonable doubt?" asked Judge Titus.
"I could," replied Mr. Ralph "If
there should be a reasonable doubt as to the sanity of the defendant,
would you give him the benefit of the doubt?"
Judge Titus and Mr. Penney both accepted Mr. Ralph,
and he was sworn in as the eighth juror.
Justice White then admonished the jurors not to
converse with each other about the trial nor to permit others to
speak upon the subject while in their presence.
A recess until 2 o'clock in the afternoon was
then announced by Crier Hess at the direction of Justice White.
Task of Securing the Remainder
of the Jury Was Prosecuted with Dispatch.
Counsel for the prisoner, Attorneys Lewis, Titus
and Ladd, were in their seats at 2 o'clock.
District Attorney Penney and Assistant Haller
were also present at that hour.
The distinguished visitors of the morning were
also in attendance. Attorney Ansley Wilcox, in whose home President
Theodore Roosevelt was sworn in appeared this afternoon for the
first time. He was given a seat at the clerk's desk.
It was three minutes past 2 o'clock when Justice
White made his appearance. The court room, which had been rather
noisy up to that time, was still in an instant. No time was lost
in resuming the examination of jurors.
The first juror examined in the afternoon was
John Bergtold, a farmer of Lancaster. He said in answer to Mr. Penney
that he believes in the laws and institutions of this country and
also in capital punishment.
In response to Judge Titus, Bergtold said that be had "partly
formed" an opinion from what he had read.
"Did you form an opinion as to his guilt
"Could you decide on the evidence despite
your opinion ?"
"If the evidence raised a reasonable doubt
in your mind, could you render a verdict in his favor?"
"Yes, sir, I could."
Bergtold said that, he never had sat on a criminal
Mr. Penney excused him.
P. Waldow, a farmer of Alden, was next called. To Mr. Penney he
said that he also believed in the laws and institutions and capital
punishment. . He knew no reason why he could not sit and render
a just verdict.
To Judge Titus, he said that "he was born
in Vermont, but brought his family here seven years ago.
The talesman said decidedly that he had formed
an opinion which it would require evidence to remove, but that he
could sit on the jury and pass upon the evidence.
Waldow proved satisfactory to both sides and at 2.13 o'clock was
sworn as the ninth juror.
J. Smith of 140 Leroy avenue, who is a dealer in butter and eggs,
was called. He said that he formerly lived in Genesee county. He
declared that he would vote for conviction upon evidence even where
the penalty is death. He thought he could be a fair juror.
In answer to Judge Titus he said that he had lived In Buffalo since
1893, had read about the case, had an opinion and that it would
require evidence to remove it. Despite all this he said that he
could sit as a juror in the case.
After a short consultation with Judge Lewis. Judge
Titus said that Smith was acceptable.
"We are satisfied," said Mr. Penney.
'Smith was then sworn as the tenth juror at 2.17 o'clock.
D. Keyes," said Clerk Fisher. Several times the name was repeated
by the clerk.
"No answer," said Crier Hess.
"Enter an order imposing a fine of $25 upon
the juror for failing to appear," said Justice White, sternly.
Feidt, formerly a hotelkeeper at Eden, now residing at North Collins,
was the next juror called. In response to Mr. Penney's questions,
he said he believed in the constitution and laws of the United States,
that he was not opposed to capital punishment and that he knew of
no reason why he could not be a fair juror in the case and render
an impartial verdict.
Feidt told Judge Titus that he was ill all last
"Have you read about this case?"
"A little," was the reply.
"Have you held any discussions with your
neighbors or anyone else on the subject of this case?"
"Haven't you talked to anyone about the case?"
"Have you formed an opinion relative to the
guilt or innocence of this man?"
"Could you give a fair and impartial verdict
in this case notwithstanding your opinion?"
Mr. Penney re-examined the juror.
"Do you know, George H. Smith?" asked
"Do you know Romaine Smith and Smith Barker
and George H. Davis?"
"Did you have a talk with those men, on the
day of the shooting about this case?"
"Didn't you have some talk about it?
"Then what did you mean by telling the counsel
that you had discussed the case with no one?"
"I didn't make the remark; George H. Snith
"I would like to have this man excused."
said Mr. Penney. "I have a paper here showing that he made
certain statements which I would not care to have published. They
"The court cannot excuse him unless there
is some evidence brought out on the examination," said Justice
Mr. Penney then challenged him preemptorily.
S. Hampton, a florist from East Hamburg, followed Feidt. To Mr.
Penney, Hampton said that he knew of no reason why he could not
be a fair juror, as he believed in the laws and institutions of
the country and also in capital punishment.
To Judge Titus, Hampton said that he had formed,
and still had an opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the prisoner
and that it could require evidence to remove it.
Mr. Penney excused the juror.
Emil Zacher, a retired policeman of 55 Maple street,
was next on the stand. He was for years captain of the 8th precinct.
He said that he believed in capital punishment
and believed he could be a fair juror.
"You are a police officer?" asked Judge
"I was, but am now retired."
"Well, I guess we don't want a police officer
on this jury," said Judge Titus.
"Excused by the defense," said the court.
William H. Forsyth, a shoe dealer hiving at 225
Summer street, was excused. by the court after admitting that the
opinion which he had formed was so strong as to prejudice him against
the prisoner. Judge Titus challenged the Juror
H. Mertens of 945 Exchange street, a boot and shoe dealer, was satisfactory
as a juror to the district attorney.
Judge Titus examined him with great care. He said
he had formed an opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the prisoner,
but that he could set that opinion aside and give the defendent
a fair trial. He knew of no reason why he could not sit on the jury
and be guided solely by the evidence.
He was accepted as the eleventh Juror,
J. Adams, a contractor of 209 Purdy street, was sworn immediately
after the eleventh juror was sworn. His answers to Mr. Penney were
In reply to judge Titus, Adams said that he formed
a partial opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the defendant.
He said he still had that opinion and it would
require considerable evidence to remove it, yet he believed he was
competent to pass upon the evidence.
After a little more questioning the juror was
accepted by both sides and was sworn in as the twelfth and the last
Juror at exactly 2.43 o'clock.
Clerk Fisher called the jury and Crier Hess announced:
"Jury all ready, your honor." Jurors
from part 1 were then sent back to part 1. The jury was secured
from the panel of 36 drawn for part 3.
September 23, 1901
[The remainder of this article describes details of the trial which
may be examined by looking at the trial transcript at made available
by the Bar Association of Erie County. URL: http://www.eriebar.org/documents/czoltran.pdf
to see the pdf
version of this article]