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Pan-American Exposition of 1901

Cost of the Trial

Not Heavy, Owing Largely to the Dispatch with Which it Was Conducted.


Three Hundred Dollars for Dr. Carlog
F. MacDonald, Insanlty Expert-
Fees of Counsel for the Defense .

The cost of the trial of Leon F. Czolgosz for the murder of President McKinley is at present entirely problematical. Only one alienist has rendered a bill for his services as an expert, and nothing has been done regarding the question of counsel fees for the attorneys for the defense.

Rumors have been heard to the effect that no claim for counsel fees would be submitted by the assassin's attorneys, but the basis for these rumors could not be learned.

Dr. Carlos F. MacDonald, the eminent alienist of New York city, presented a claim for $300, and Justice White in part 3 of the supreme court allowed it upon the certificate of District Attorney Penney and Judge Titus. Dr. MacDonald desired to return at once to New York, so the court considered his claim without waiting for the other alienists to submit their bills.

Dr. MacDonald was brought to Buffalo by the Erie County Bar Association to assist Judges Lewis and Titus in their conduct of the defense of the prisoner. He found that Czolgosz was perfectly sane, and so reported to the counsel for the defense, and to Mr. Penney. As a result of that report, Mr. Penney decided to hold him as a witness for the prosecution in event of an insanity plea being interposed.

As is well known, his services were not needed, but he was in attendance during the two days of the trial, being here four days in all. He arrived Saturday after noon and remained until Tuesday evening.

Dr. MacDonald made three examinations of the prisoner, each lasting from an hour to two hours, so that his compensation was at the rate of $100 per examination.

Four other alienists also examined the murderer, and they will undoubtedly submit claims for compensation for their services. They were Dr. Floyd S. Crego, Dr. Joseph Fowler, Dr. James W. Putnam and Dr. Arthur W. Hurd, all of Buffalo. The three first-mentioned were retained by Mr. Penney shortly after the shooting, and each examined the prisoner four times. Dr. Hurd joined Dr. MacDonald in his examinations. Dr. Hurd will probably submit a claim for $300, the same as Dr. MacDonald's, and, at the same ratio of $100 an examination, the other three Buffalo alienists may present claims for $400 each.

These bills of the insanity experts will be submitted to Justice White in a few days as soon as the excitement attendant upon the trial, sentence and removal or the prisoner has died down somewhat.

Erie county will be compelled to foot these bills, as well as any claim for counsel fees under the code of criminal procedure.

Aside from these, bills of two other experts will have to be passed upon by the court, namely, those for the chemical and bacteriological examinations of the bullets and the revolver with which the murder was committed.

Dr. Herbert N. Hill, city chemist, made a chemical examination, and Dr. Herman G. Matzinger a bacteriological examination of Czolgosz's revolver and the three bullets left therein, to determine whether or not poison was used. These examinations proved that poison was not used, and that question was eliminated from the trial. Nevertheless the doctors will have to be paid. It is thought that not more than $50 will be allowed to each of these experts.

Considerable discussion has been heard as to the amount to be allowed the counsel for the defendant for their services upon the trial of Czolgosz. The question often arises whether each attorney can receive the limit of $500 allowed by law, or whether that sum would have to be divided among the attorneys where more than one serve.

In this case there were three, namely, Judge Lewis, Judge Titus and Attorney Carlton E. Ladd. In view of the discussion, the law on the question is interesting.

The section of the code of criminal procedure which applies to this case is as follows:

Section 308-Defendant appearing for arraignment without counsel to be informed of his right to counsel. If the defendant appear for arraignment without counsel, he must he asked if he desires the aid of counsel, and if he does the court must assign counsel. When services are rendered by counsel in pursuance of such assignment in a case where the offense is punishable by death, or an appeal from a judgment of death, the court in which the defendant is tried or the action or indictment is other-wise disposed of, or by which the appeal is finally determined, may allow such counsel his personal and incidental expenses upon a verified statement thereof being filed with the clerk of such court, and also reasonable compensation for his services In such court, not exceeding the sum of $500, which allowance shall be a charge upon the county in which the indictment in the action is found, to be paid out of the court fund, upon the certificate of the Judge or justice presiding at the trial or otherwise disposing of the indictment, or upon the certificate of the appellate court, but no such allowance shall be made unless an affidavit is filed with the clerk of the county by or on behalf of the defendant, showing that he is wholly destitute of means."

However, Justice White put an end to the discussion this forenoon when lie assured a Commercial representative that the amount up to $500 was entirely within the discretion of the court, and that the limit of $500 was for all the counsel. Justice White said:
"If application is made for counsel fees for the attorneys for the defendant, it rests with the court to grant compensation for an amount not to exceed $500."

"Could each attorney receive $500?" was asked.

"No, sir, the maximum fee is 500, and it would have to be granted to all counsel.".

"Do you know whether or not application will be made?"

"I do not. I have heard nothing about the matter, and do not know the intentions of the counsel for the defense."

The belief has become current that the prisoner's attorneys will not ask for compensation for their services in this unpleasant duty. At any rate they have made no move thus far, and have not even discussed the subject among themselves.

A Commercial reporter inquired at the office of Judge Titus twice this morning, but could not find either the judge or Mr. Ladd in, so as to secure a statement from them upon the subject.

Judge Loran L. Lewis, the senior counsel, was seen at his office, and was asked whether or not application for counsel fees would be made. He replied:

"I do not know. I have not given the subject the slightest thought, as my mind has been occupied with other things. I have not talked the subject over with Judge Titus."

"You do not care much about the matter, do you, judge?" was asked, as his tone and manner indicated that the subject was of no concern.

"I can not say that, because, as I tell you, I have not given the subject a single thought before this moment," was the reply.

"Did the counsel for the defense have any incidental expenses such as would entitle you to reimbursement from the court ?"

"None, that I know of," replied Judge Lewis.

Under the ruling of Justice White as given above, and allowing the insanity and other experts fees in proportion to Dr. MacDonald's, the extra expenses of the Czolgosz trial would amount to but little over $2,000.

As the trial was held at a regular term of the supreme court the jurors, deputy sheriffs and other court officers would have been serving just the same if a President's murderer had not been on trial.

Mr. Penney Praised

This comparatively slight expense to Erie County for the assassin's trial is due, in a large measure, to the dispatch with which District Attorney Thomas Penney conducted the prosecution of the murderer. This expense is small compared to the usual expense surrounding the trials of murderers.
Mr. Penney took personal charge of the case the day of the shooting, three weeks ago, and worked assiduously night and day until the assassin was on his way to state prison at Auburn.
After sentence was pronounced, scores of prominent citizens of Buffalo called at Mr. Penney's office and complimented him upon his masterly handling of the case. In addition, the district attorney received hundreds of letters and telegrams from all parts of the United States commending him for his work. These communications were from clergymen, professional and business men, not only in Buffalo, but from men of note in nearly every other large city in the country, congratulating him. They commented handsomely upon his efforts in conducting the whole affair without sensationalism but merely in the line of his duty, and thereby preventing the anarchists of the world from getting an iota of glory out of the terrible affair.

Police Also Praised

Supt. William S. Bull, Assistant Superintendent P. V. Cusack and their corps of efficient police officers, are also receiving great praise for their part in the affair.
Supt. Bull showed remarkable executive ability in handling the crowds during the past three weeks, and out-of-town newspaper men, who have been at large gatherings of people all over the country for two years past, asserted that Supt. Bull handled the crowds better than similar crowds had ever been handled in any city in the United States.

Detective-Sergeants Albert Solomon and John Geary also deserve credit for their handling of Czolgosz, it having been their duty to take him from the Temple of Music to police headquarters on the day of the shooting, and also to take charge of him in going to and fro between the jail and the court room.

Source: Buffalo Commercial, September 27, 1901