Veneir [sic] is Drawn to Try Leo M. Frank Monday

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 24th, 1913

JUDGE ANNOUNCES HE IS READY TO TRY CASE; 144 MEN EMPANELLED

Says He Has Not Even Been Asked for Postponement, and Sees No Reason Why Trial Should Not Begin On Date Fixed.

Jim Conley, the negro sweeper of the National Pencil Factory, was taken from the police station late Thursday afternoon by Detectives Starnes and Campbell to verify certain of his statements and to point out certain witnesses, who, he told the detectives, would be able to refute the affidavit of W. H. Mincey by showing that he was not at the point where Mincey swears the negro confessed he “had killed a girl” on the afternoon of the murder. The detectives would not divulge the location of the places to be visited.

Judge L. S. Roan, home from Covington, late Thursday, declared to a Georgian reporter that he saw no reason why the trial of Leo M. Frank, accused of the murder of Mary Phagan, should not begin Monday.

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Let the Frank Trial Go On

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 24th, 1913

Leo Frank should be placed on trial Monday for the murder of Mary Phagan.

The crime was committed April 26; Frank was arrested April 28; he was indicted Mary 23 and his trial set for June 30.

At the suggestion of the judge in whose court the trial is to take place, a postponement was agreed on, and the date of the trial moved up to July 28.

Now attempts are being made to secure another postponement. The only reason given to the public is that the weather is hot and it would be disagreeable to hold the trial in the summer.

Of course it is hot, but it isn’t any hotter in the court room than it is in jail.

Both the prosecution and the defense have had ample time to prepare their cases. If Frank is guilty, the State can prove his guilt as well now as later on; if he is innocent, the defense can prove his innocence as well in summer as in winter.

The public has taken a keen interest in the Phagan case and it will demand that the man who killed her be punished, whether that man is Frank or someone else. Furthermore, it is tired of delays.

Public sentiment is where it was on the date first set for Frank’s trial and it will be at the same place if the trial is delayed for a year.

Atlantans are awaiting the trial with open minds. They are not holding themselves up as judges. They know the law is supreme and they want it to take its course. But they want that course taken without seemingly endless delays.

Fight Expected Over Effort to Defer Frank Case

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

Atlanta Journal
July 23, 1913

No Witnesses for Defense Have Been Called for Monday, and Indications Are They Will Not Be

CRAWFORD CASE CHECKED TO DATE OF FRANK TRIAL

Attorney R. R. Arnold May Go to Covington to Request Judge L. S. Roan to Postpone Case

While the position of the defense of Leo M. Frank has not been announced, Attorney Luther Z. Rosser and Reuben R. Arnold have indicated clearly that they desire to postpone the trial of case from next Monday, when it is set. Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey, on the other hand, has announced the state’s position. He will fight any and every move to postpone the case.

The solicitor general objected, when the case was postponed from June 30, the date he first fixed, and fought to have a date earlier than July 28 when he then saw that postponement was inevitable. Now he is again preparing to fight against further delay.

Deputy Sheriff Plennie Minor was instructed by Judge L. S. Roan, to bring the jury box to Judge John T. Pendleton with the request that he draw the venire for the trial on Thursday morning before the trial judge left to hold court this week in Covington.

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Lanford Ridicules Bludgeon Evidence

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 23rd, 1913

Scouts New ‘Proof’ of Defense

Detective Chief Scoffs at Claim of Evidence That Club Used by Negro Was Found.

Chief of Detectives Newport Lanford Wednesday morning ridiculed the story that the defense of Leo M. Frank has in its possession a bloody club, alleged to have been found by two Pinkerton detectives on May 10 in the National Pencil Factory, and with which, it is reported, the defense will contend Mary Phagan was slain by James Conley, the negro sweeper.

Asserting that he knows nothing whatever of the alleged bloody club, Chief Lanford declared that, if Pinkerton detectives found such a weapon on May 10, or any other date, they had failed to report the fact to him. Failure to officially report such a find would be regarded as a breach of the pact between the city detectives and the Pinkertons, as the latter officers, while employed by the pencil factory, have been working hand in hand with city detectives, with the understanding that any evidence they unearthed would be communicated to detective headquarters.

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Second Chapter in Phagan Mystery

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 23rd, 1913

The Discovery of the Body of the Slain Factory Girl and Start of Hunt for Slayer.

CHAPTER II.

His heart pounding in superstitious fright, Newt Lee, the night watchman, forced himself to approach the strange object on the pile of debris in the pencil factory basement. A step nearer and he could make out what appeared to be a human foot. He recoiled and was on the point of precipitate flight.

But he must look closer, he thought. Perhaps, after all, it was only the ghastly prank of some of the factory employees who had manufactured a rude effigy and placed it there to scare him.

Determinedly he walked closer and thrust his lantern out over the mysterious object. He shrieked. Before his horrified eyes the shaky and uncertain light of his lantern disclosed the body of a little girl.

Grimed, bloody and mutilated the body lay on the flat of its back, as the terrified negro remembered it afterward, although the police, coming a few minutes later, found the body on its face, one arm drawn slightly up under the body and the other stretched full length at the side.

Discrepancy Not Explained.

This strange discrepancy never has been explained to the public except by the possibility that Lee, in his terror, was mistaken in the position he believed the body was in when he discovered it. Conley, telling his remarkable story three weeks later, said that he dumped the girl’s body face downward on the trash pile where it later was come upon by Lee.

Lee was to oappalled [sic] by his grewsome find to make a close investigation. He only saw that it was a little white girl and that she had been murdered. With frightened steps he hurried to the ladder at the other end of the basement. He was in a panic. He scuttled up the ladder and dropped the trap door over it. He felt a bit relieved away from the blackness of the basement and the awful thing that it contained.

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Conley is Confronted with Lee – Dorsey Grills Negroes in Same Cell at Jail

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 23rd, 1913

TRACE FOUND HERE OF NEGRO SAID TO HAVE SEEN PHAGAN SLAYING

Sister of Will Green Tells Police He Slept at Home at Hour Girl Was Slain; Jim Conley, Factory Sweeer [sic] Again Grilled.

The two negro principals in the Phagan case—Newt Lee and Jim Conley—were put on the grill together in the cell of the former in the county jail by Solicitor Dorsey and his assistant, Frank G. Hooper, late Wednesday afternoon.

Present at the cross-examination were J. M. Gantt, former pencil factory employee, and Detectives Starnes and Campbell, the officers who have had charge of Conley for the past several weeks. After half an hour’s questioning Gantt left the jail. Solicitor Dorsey and the others remained and the questioning of the two negroes continued until a late hour. Conley was then taken back to police headquarters.

Here are Wednesday’s important developments in the Phagan murder mystery:

Bloodstained glove of Mary Phagan is said to have been found on the first floor near the place the discovery of her pay envelope was made.

New evidence is found tending to establish the identity of the negro, Will Green, said to have seen the attack upon Mary Phagan.

Newt Lee, negro night watchman at the pencil factory, undergoes a grilling examination at the hands of Solicitor General Dorsey and his associate counsel, Frank A. Hooper.

J. M. Gantt, expected to give sensational evidence for the prosecution at the trial, is in conference with the solicitor and present at the grilling of Lee.

Leo M. Frank tells Sheriff Mangum that he is eager for the trial to begin, and will be ready when it is called Monday morning.

Solicitor Dorsey announces that he will insist that there be no further delay.

It became known Wednesday that the defense in the Frank case had been informed that the negro, Will Green, who is said to have been shooting craps with Jim Conley the day that Mary Phagan was murdered and to have seen her attacked, and the Will Green living at 105 Thurmond street, Atlanta, are the same person.

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Was Mary Phagan Killed With Bludgeon?

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

Atlanta Journal
July 22nd, 1913

BLOODY STICK NOW IN POSSESSION OF FRANK’S ATTORNEYS

Was Found on May 10 by Two Pinkerton Detectives on the First Floor of the Pencil Factory

DEFENSE TO CLAIM NEGRO WIELDED THE INSTRUMENT

It Was Sent to Chemist Outside of State for Examination—Subpenas Issued for State’s Witness

In the possession of the defense of Leo M. Frank is a bloody bludgeon with which it will be claimed at the trial, in all probability, that James Conley, the negro sweeper, struck Mary Phagan over the head while she battled on the first floor of the National Pencil factory for her life.

While it has been known for weeks that the defense of Frank will try to pit the crime on the negro, the claim that any weapon other than the negro’s hands and the cords placed about her neck, were used, is an absolutely new development to the public, although the bloody stick, about an inch in diameter, has been in the possession of the defense since May 10.

It is said that it was found in the factory on that date by two Pinkerton operatives, L. P. Whitfield and W. D. McWorth, who at that time were conducting a systematic search of the factory.

According to the story, which has come to The Journal on excellent authority, on May 9, after city detectives, factory employees, various private sleuths and quite a few curiosity seekers had searched for nearly two weeks without finding any new clues to throw light on the tragedy. Whitefield and McWorth, two of the Pinkerton operatives, who are on the “silent force” never appearing before the public, went to the factory for a new examination of the big building, which was the scene of Atlanta’s most sensational tragedy.

They started on the second floor, where the state maintains that Mary Phagan met her death, and spent the entire day going over that floor.

By the next ddy [sic], May 10, the detectives had reached the third floor of the building. They went back by the boxes upon which Conley says he sat while waiting for instructions from the factory superintendent. Some ten or fifteen feet past the boxes and considerably past the elevator shaft, by a door, and on top of some trash, the Pinkerton men found the bloody bludgeon, right by the spot where the part of a pay envelope with the name Mary Phagan written upon it lay.

EXAMINED BY CHEMIST.

Evidently the defense of Frank considers the find of the two sleuths as important, for the story of the stick has been zealously guarded from the public. In addition, presumably to make certain that the fact of the existence of the stick would not reach the public, it was sent out of the state to a famous chemist, who made an anlysis [sic] to determine whether or not the blood on the primitive weapon was that of a human or an animal. The examination is said to have shown it to be the former.

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Story of Phagan Case by Chapters

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 22nd, 1913

Slaying of Factory Girl, South’s Most Baffling Crime Mystery, Reviewed in Detail.

CHAPTER I.

Will the veil of mystery be lifted when the curtain rises next Monday on another scene in Atlanta’s darkest tragedy?

A vast audience, shocked by the horror of Mary Phagan’s fate on a Saturday of last April and held through the succeeding weeks in the thrall of the baffling crime drama, in keen suspense awaits this question’s answer.

Will Fulton County’s Solicitor General be able to point his finger at Leo M. Frank and exclaim, “That is the man who strangled Mary Phagan!” backing his damning accusation with such abundance of evidence that there can remain no shadow of doubt?

Or will Luther Rosser, certain to be a towering and masterful factor in the titanic struggle that is to be staged, unmask his strength, bring to bear the secret evidence that has been in his possession for weeks, beat down every bulwark of suspicion that the State has erected about its prisoner and, as a dramatic finale, assail the negro, Jim Conley, cowering in the witness stand, with a ranking volley of questions that will leave the negro man shaken and terrified, a confession of the crime upon his lips?

Whole State Stirred.

All of Atlanta—most of the State—is hanging with the most intense interest on the outcome.

No other crime ever stirred Georgia to its depths as has the slaying of the little factory girl.

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Grand Jury Defers Action on Conley

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 22nd, 1913

TALK OF POSTPONING FRANK TRIAL TILL FALL

Protest of Solicitor Dorsey Wins

Presents Evidence Showing Indictment of Negro Would Hinder Frank Prosecution.

Here are the important developments of Monday in the Phagan case:

The decision of the Grand Jury of Fulton County not to bring at this time an indictment against James Conley.

The information that there is a strong probability of another postponement of the trial of Leo M. Frank.

The Grand Jury’s refusal to reopen its investigation of the Phagan murder mystery was a decided victory for the Solicitor after that body had overridden his request that no session be called to take up the matter in any of its aspects.

A report that Judge L. S. Roan who will preside at the Frank trial had signified his desire that the case be put off until fall, gave rise to the expectation that another postponement will take place, and that the date probably will be set for some week in September.

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Defense Asks Ruling on Delaying Frank Trial

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

Atlanta Georgian
July 22, 1913

Hearing of Crawford Case May Conflict

Conference Planned to Decide Which Shall Take Precedence. Ready to Draw Venire.

Reuben R. Arnold, of counsel for Leo M. Frank, announced Tuesday that he proposed to seek a conference of the attorneys in the Frank case and in the Crawford will hearing to determine which case should be postponed next Monday, the date set for the beginning of the trial of Frank on the charge of slaying Mary Phagan.

Mr. Arnold, Luther Z. Rosser, chief of counsel for Frank, both also are attorneys in the Crawford will case, and it would be impossible on this account to conduct the two cases simultaneously. The Crawford hearing will resume Wednesday before a special auditor in a branch of the Superior Court, and undoubtedly will be in progress next week if it is not stopped by a postponement.

The will hearing, because of the fact that it already is under way, would have a natural precedence over the Frank trial. This may be waived, however, in order to take up the Phagan mystery.

None of the attorneys for the defense will say that they intend to ask for a postponement of the Frank trial, but the hot weather and the fact that the Crawford case is in progress at this time appear to be combining to bring about such a consummation.

Judge Roan has stated that the case would be called Monday, but he probably will accede to the request for a conference some day this week to discuss the matter.

Court Likely to Accede.

Attorney Arnold will ask that the jurymen be not summoned until a definite decision is reached as to which of the cases is to take precedence.

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Will Not Indict Jim Conley Now, Jury’s Decision

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

The Atlanta Journal

Monday, July 21, 1913

Solicitor Dorsey Makes Brief Announcement to This Effect After Grand Jury Session Lasting Over an Hour

NO ANONYMOUS LETTERS WANTED BY THE JURORS

Solicitor Dorsey Will Now Concentrate Efforts Against Having Frank Jury Drawing From Grand Jury List

Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey has for a second time blocked an attempt by members of the grand jury to indict James Conley, the negro sweeper, who confessed complicity in the Mary Phagan murder.

The grand jurymen who had called a meeting over the protest of the solicitor to consider taking up a bill against the negro listened to the prosecuting official for more than an hour Monday morning, and then authorized him to announce that the matter will not be taken up at this time.

DORSEY MAKES STATEMENT.

The solicitor wrote out his statement, which is as follows:

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Grand Jury Meets to Consider Conley Case

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Monday, July 21, 1913

Protest of Solicitor Will Be Heeded

Foreman Declares Inquisitorial Body Will Not Ride “Roughshod” Over Dorsey.

With Solicitor Dorsey reaffirming his certainty that Jim Conley will not be indicted before the tral [sic] of Leo M. Frank and declaring that he will fight with all his vigor any movement in that direction, the Grand Jury members gathered in the Thrower Building Monday morning in response to the call of Foreman Beatie to decide whether they will reopen their investigation of the Phagan murder mystery.

A strong probability that no action would be taken during the day arose when it became known that there were only eighteen of the grand jurors in the city, a bare quorum. In the event that all of the eighteen did not appear, there still was the opportunity to go out and summon talesmen at random to serve on the Grand Jury, but no statement was made as to whether this legal privilege would be exercised.

No Witnesses Called.

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Doctor And Girl Are Taken On Vice Charge

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Monday, July 21, 1913

Dr. M. W. Lewis, a prominent physician of Carrollton, was arrested Monday morning and placed under $1,000 bond on a charge of disorderly conduct. He is charged with registering as man and wife at the Hotel Scoville, on Mitchell street, with Miss Effie McColman, who is held as a witness in the case. The trial will be held before Recorder Broyles Tuesday afternoon. The arrest was deloyed [sic] until the physician had finished a difficult operation at a sanitarium.

According to the charges, Dr. Lewis arrived in Atlanta Monday morning with Miss McColman, registering at the Hotel Scoville with her as Dr. Lewis and wife.

This is denied by Dr. Lewis, who says someone, who evidently has it in for him, added the “and wife.”

Dr. Lewis and the girl, who is only 19 years old, were arrested on information furnished to the police by an alleged friend of the couple, who saw them on the train Monday morning.

According to Dr. Lewis, the girl came to Atlanta with him to have some work done on her teeth. The girl says she came with the doctor with her parents’ permission. The McColmans live in the country about ten miles from Carrollton.

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The Atlanta Georgian, July 21st 1913, “Doctor And Girl Are Taken On Vice Charge,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Protest of Solicitor Dorsey Wins

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Monday, July 21, 1913

Presents Evidence Showing Indictment of Negro Would Hinder Frank Prosecution.

Here are the important developments of Monday in the Phagan case:

The decision of the Grand Jury of Fulton County not to bring at this time an indictment against James Conley.

The information that there is a strong probability of another postponement of the trial of Leo M. Frank.

The Grand Jury’s refusal to reopen its investigation of the Phagan murder mystery was a decided victory for the Solicitor after that body had overridden his request that no session be called to take up the matter in any of its aspects.

A report that Judge L.S. Roan, who will preside at the Frank trial, had signified his desire that the case be put off until fall, gave rise to the expectation that another postponement will take place, and that the date probably will be set for some week in September.

Defense Said To Be Willing.

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Four Women Caught In Vice Net Escape From Martha Home

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Monday, July 21, 1913

Four young women, three of whom had been caught in Chief Beavers’ vice dragnet last week, escaped from the Martha Home during chapel exercises Sunday night.

The women were Effie Drummond, who after being caught in a raid on Mrs. Lula Bell’s place at Peters and Fair streets, declared she was a minister’s daughter from North Carolina, and had been the victim of a white slaver; Maude Doughetry, apprehended at the same house; Beatrice Renfro, companion of A.N. Trippe, a Whitehall street clerk, arrested on complaint of Tripp’e [sic] wife, and Myrtle Bell, who was placed in the home at the request of her parents.

The dragnet has been recast for the fugitives.

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The Atlanta Georgian, July 21st 1913, “Four Women Caught In Vice Net Escape From Martha Home,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Dorsey Is Seeking to Be Grand Jury And Solicitor Too, Say Frank’s Counsel

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

The Atlanta Journal

Sunday, July 20, 1913

SOLICITOR SCORED FOR HIS ATTITUDE IN CONLEY’S CASE

Rosser and Arnold Charge Dorsey Seeks to Convict Frank, Guilty or Innocent, Out of Professional Pride

“SHUTTING EYES TO TRUTH, DORSEY PROTECTS NEGRO”

Attorneys Intimate That Dorsey Fears to Let Truth Be Known – Attitude Throughout Case Is Criticised

The attitude of Solicitor General Hugh M. Dorsey throughout the Phagan investigation, and especially in his attempt to block a grand jury indictment of Jim Conley, is scored in an interview made public by Luther Z. Rosser and Reuben R. Arnold, counsel for Leo M. Frank.

“The solicitor is seeking to convict Frank innocent or guilty, in order to gratify his professional pride,” Frank’s attorneys say.

In the course of the intetrview [sic] the two famous attorneys, who have been engaged to defend the man accused of the murder of Mary Phagan, charge that the solicitor is protecting the negro Conley.

Mr. Dorsey is severely criticised not only for his avowed intention of trying to block the indictment of Conley by the grand jury Monday, but because he prevented the last grand jury, the one, which indicted Frank, from acting on Conley’s case, and because he did not place before the last grand jury any of Conley[‘s] confessions.

Solicitor Dorsey is geeting [sic] his legal and constitutional functions in seeking to control the action of the grand judy [sic],” Attorneys Rosser and Arnold declare.

Despite the criticism of his attitude, there is little doubt that Solicitor Dorsey will be present Monday, when the grand jury takes up the consideration of the Conley case. In fact the solicitor’s presence has been requested by W.D. Beattie, the foreman of the grand jury, who called the meeting.

Solicitor Dorsey is still confident that the grand jury will not indict Conley.

There is little doubt that there will be a quorum present, when the grand jury meeting is called Monday, for Deputy Sheriff Plennie Minor has found that  19 of the 20 grand jurors empanneled [sic] are in the city, and they have promised to be present Monday. It takes 18 grand jurors to act on a bill of indictment. The statement of Mr. Rosser and Mr. Arnold, scoring the solicitor is as follows:

STATEMENT IN FULL.

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Dorsey Fights Movement to Indict Conley

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Sunday, July 20, 1913

Solicitor Is Bombarded With Letters to Proceed Against Negro as Slayer of Mary Phagan.

THE GRAND JURY IS CALLED

Hottest Battle of Famous Case To Be Waged Behind Closed Doors of Inquisitory Body.

Solicitor Dorsey is fighting vigorously the movement in the Grand Jury to indict Jim Conley Monday for the murder of Mary Phagan, despite the bambardment [sic] of letters from many citizens and by the sentiment of some of its own members.

It is for the consideration of these letters and petitions, asking the reopening of the Phagan matter, that the meeting has been called.

It was in the face of Solicitor Dorsey’s bitterest opposition that the meeting was called at all. Foreman Beattie issued his defi [sic] after a previous Grand Jury had been defeated in its efforts to reopen the case with a view of indicting Jim Conley and after Dorsey explicitly had expressed his strongest disapproval of such a move.

Crucial Battle Coming.

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Attorney for Conley Makes a Statement

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Sunday, July 20, 1913

“Not Necessary to Indict Negro to Close His Mouth,” Declares William Smith.

William M. Smith, attorney for Jim Conley, the negro now being held as a material witness in the Phagan murder case and whose indictment for complicity in the crime will be considered by the Grand Jury Monday, brought to the office of The Sunday American Saturday night a statement in behalf of his client.

In a letter accompanying the statement, Mr. Smith conveyed a doubt as to whether this newspaper would print what he had to say.

The attorney’s statement in full follows:

The Grand Jury list published showed the names of some men whom I know, and know they are on the square, and, if they once understand the real situation, there will be a bear fight before Jim Conley is indicted at this time.

Of course it would be great work, if the State could be forced to so indict Conley as to make his testimony legally inadmissible against Frank. What a beautiful technical advantage for the Grand Jury to work to close Conley’s mouth against Frank.

Code of Georgia, section 1035: “Confessions of conspirators. The confession of one joint offender or conspirator, made after the enterprise is ended, is admissible only against himself.”

How long would the good people of this county stand for such legal jugglery to save a brutal murderer from the gallows? It is right that both men shall talk. The Grand Jury can name Conley as a joint offender or conspirator, they can give him a “legal status,” which we have heard so much howl about for the last few days, and save Frank from the embarrassment of having to face Conley, even when he is tried. The Grand Jury may know more about what is legally proper to do in this matter than the men who have been playing this game for a living for years, but they had better move slow. We have been studying the principles underlying this fight for months, and they are fresh hands, just on the job for a few days.

It is not necessary to indict Conley to close his mouth. I can close it and help Frank to go free, and then Mr. Mincey and others of his type can be run off by the friends of Mr. Frank, and be inaccessible as witnesses when Conley is tried, and then Conley can go free. This could be done, but it won’t be. Unless they get me fired from my representation of Conley, and unless the Grand Jury fixes his “legal status” so he can’t swear, Conley will answer the roll call as a witness and tell the whole truth as he knows it. It is evident that a trade whereby Conley would close his mouth would be advantageous to both. With Mr. Mincey and others non est inventus, as I imagine they will be if they are not held after swearing, by some process, Conley could not possibly be convicted of murdering the girl himself, and with Frank free Conley could not even be indicted and punished as an accessory after the fact. Such a trade might even be made interesting to Conley’s lawyer, from a financial viewpoint. In fact, everybody but society and the administration of justice would be helped.

We are not looking for trades. Let everybody tell the whole truth, as they see it, and then let justice take its full course, unhampered by ringers or other influences, permeating either the grand or petit juries of this county. When this is done, the fiendish murder of Mary Phagan will be avenged and the civic conscience of our good people satisfied.

WILLIAM M. SMITH.

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The Atlanta Georgian, July 20th 1913, “Attorney for Conley Makes a Statement,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Mincey Ready to Tell Story to Grand Jury

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Sunday, July 20, 1913

Man Who Says He Heard Negro Confess Now Is at Rising Fawn, Ga.

W.H. Mincey, the school teacher who made an affidavit declaring Jim Conley confessed to him on the afternoon of the murder of Mary Phagan that he killed a girl, will appear before the Grand Jury to repeat his startling story when that tribunal convenes Monday to consider the Phagan matter, it was reported Saturday night.

Mincey, who is now at Rising Fawn, Ga., has expressed his willingness to come to Atlanta for this purpose. His evidence, which has proved the most important of all that has come to light since Conley’s affidavit directing guilt at Frank, is considered of the greatest weight in bringing the Grand Jury to its consideration of indicting Conley.

Hugh Dorsey, Solicitor General, insisted Saturday that his every effort would be directed against the indictment of Conley.

The Solicitor will not fight in Conley’s defense except as a last resort. His chief desire is that the Grand Jury postpone action in regard to the negro until after the Frank trial.

“Conley can be indicted after the Frank trial is disposed of much more properly than at present,” said the Solicitor Saturday. “And by the delay, there will be no danger of a miscarriage of justice.”

The chief contention of the Solicitor is that with Conley indicted for the murder, and with uncertainty thus engendered, much of the force of the State’s case against Leo M. Frank will be lost. It is the insistent declaration by police, city detectives and the Solicitor’s force that a chain of direct and apparently conclusive evidence has been forged against Frank.

It is mostly for this reason that Dorsey will request the Grand Jury to keep its hands off the Conley case. The Solicitor also hinted that he holds evidence, revelation of which would prevent the Grand Jury from indicting the negro. He feels also, as he announced, that a consideration of the Phagan case at this time will bring about an indiscreet exploitation of the State’s evidence, thus revealing essential features of the prosecution’s case to the defense.

All this he will present to the Grand Jury, it is expected.

Other phases of the case discussed Saturday included the intimation that the Frank defense will ask for a trial jury drawn from the Grand Jury box, and not from the petit jury box. The legality of this procedure, according to the Solicitor, is a matter of conjecture.

The Grand Jury will meet Monday at 10 o’clock, at the call of the foreman. The body has only twenty members, and by statute a quorum of eighteen is necessary to consider the indictment or exoneration of a person. The fact that a small margin thus is left for probable absence seems to strengthen the Solicitor’s forecast that no indictment will be returned against Conley at this time.

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The Atlanta Georgian, July 20th 1913, “Mincey Ready to Tell Story to Grand Jury,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

Mincey Story Declared Vital To Both Sides in Frank Case

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Sunday, July 20, 1913

By AN OLD POLICE REPORTER.

The most important and interesting development of the week in the Phagan case was the Mincey affidavit, directing suspicion more surely in the direction of James Conley than ever before, if the affidavit is that of a credible witness.

If what Mincey says is true—if his evidence can be made to “stand up” in court—then he is far and away not only the most important witness yet discovered, but his testimony will serve to clear up the mysterious Phagan case in its most obscure phases.

Solicitor General Hugh Dorsey has attacked Mincey’s credibility. Naturally, he would do that.

If Mincey is worthy of belief and is speaking the truth, he has dealt the State’s case against Frank a deadly blow, from which it can not hope to recover.

If he does not speak the truth, and that can be established, it will redound fo [sic] the hurt of the defense, for it will have a bracing-up effect upon Conley’s other story.

But Who Is Mincey?

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