Coming Of Age In Mississippi

September 29, 2016 Law

Coming Of Age In Mississippi

A Miscarriage of Justice

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In 1913 Leo Frank, a northern Jew who had moved to Atlanta to manage a pencil

factory, was accused of murdering a 13 year old girl named Mary Phagan who was

employed at the factory. The trial which lasted two years continues to cause national

hysteria, sectional fury, distortion of judicial process, racial hatred and uncertainty as to

just exactly what is truth and justice. It is a frightening example of the conflicts that

developed out of the merging of the agrarian and urban cultures. The trial and prosecution

of Leo Frank accompanied by the maze of contradictory testimony which directed his

eventual death by lynching leave many questions to be answered.

On May 10, 1915, Judge Hill sentenced Leo Frank to hang on June 22, 1915 for

the murder of Mary Phagan. Every possible judicial recourse to save Frank?s life had been

exhausted. One June 9,1915 the prison board voted 2 to 1 against commutation and only

Governor Slaton going out of office in a few days, stood between Leo Frank and the

hangman. News of the Governor?s intention to review the case began circulating

throughout the state and on June 12th a

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