96 Men are Called Before Getting Jury

Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Constitution
July 29th, 1913

Attorneys for Both Sides Had Good Line on All Men Examined.

According to an unofficial account kept as the matter of striking the Frank jury was carried out, ninety-six men were called into the box and examined before the twelve men to try the case were finally selected. These men were divided into eight panels of twelve each, and came in a panel at a time.

Every bit of information that could be got together in advance about the men whose names were on the venire list of 144 men drawn last week, had been secured by lawyers on both sides, who also had outside aid in selecting the men.

A crowd of men who will take no other part in the legal fight surrounded the lawyers’ tables and gave suggestions as the various names were called. Among them were Oscar Simmons, of counsel for the Georgia Railway and Power company, which has practically the best and most complete list of the 6,000 men whose names are in the Fulton county jury list. Mr. Simmons aided the defense.

Offer Suggestions.

Captain W. W. Tracy John Garst, a well-known labor man and John Cox, an employee of Attorney Arnold’s office aided the defense. Others, including Stiles Hopkins, allied with Rosser, Brandon, Slaton & Phillips, offered suggestions to Attorneys Rosser, Arnold and Herbert Haas.

On the side of the state, Solicitor Dorsey was aided by his assistant, E. A. Stevens; by Attorney Frank Hooper, who will be his principal aid in the case; by Deputy Newt Garner, Detective Pat Campbell and several others.

Before the jury had been selected, the staae [sic] used up seven of its ten “strikes,” and the defense had but two left of its twenty “strikes.”

The question of an already formed opinion in regard to the guilt or innocence of the accused man excused thirty-seven men from the list. Opposition to capital punishment put fourteen men off the list, and three were excused because they were over 60 years of age.

T. G. Young, of 42 Loomis avenue, was excused “for cause,” when he declared that his wife’s stepfather was a blood relation to Mary Phagan, according to what his wife had told him.

A. F. Bellingrath was excused after an argument because it was shown that his brother, Henry Bellingrath, had aided the solicitor during the preparation of the case.

Sol Benjamin was excused because he had been a member of the grand jury that indicted Frank for the murder of the Phagan girl.

“I did not vote on the matter in the grand jury,” said Mr. Benjamin.

“Well, you have to be excused since you were on the grand jury and must have heard some of the evidence,” Judge L. S. Roan told him.

H. C. Ashford Excused.

H. C. Ashford was excused for practically the same reason. He was a member of the coroner’s jury that on May 8 bound Frank over to the grand jury.

The choosing of a jury, while proving of much less duration and difficulty than was at first expected, took all the tense thought and study of both sides and was something into which every effort was put.

At its conclusion Solicitor Dorsey was heard to say to Mr. Hooper, “Frank, I’m satisfied, thoroughly satisfied.”

Mr. Hooper later declared to a reporter that he was well satisfied with the jurymen secured.

The same expression was made by attorney for the defense, who appeared to think that a jury had been secured that would give both sides justice.