Frank Trial Will Not Be Long One

by Curator on May 9, 2017

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

The Atlanta Georgian

Friday, June 20, 1913

Few Witnesses of the Scores Examined Will Be Called When Case Is Heard.

That the trial of Leo M. Frank will take a much shorter time that is generally thought was indicated in a statement by Judge L. S. Roan. The judge said the greatest difficulty and almost as great a length of time would be consumed in drawing a jury as in the hearing of the case. He said the actual taking of evidence might not consume more than a day.

Judge Roan intimated that he expected neither side to introduce the scores of witnesses who had been examined and made affidavits, but that from these witnesses the State and the defense would select the most material evidence, or salient points, and then introduce the most reliable witness who could cover the ground.

For instance, eight or ten different persons might be able to testify on some different minor points, while there would be one witness who could testify to the same thing the different witnesses could. This witness, he thought, would be the one to go on the stand, and the others would not be summoned.

Affidavits Are Plentiful.

As a matter of fact, it is known that only a comparatively small number of the witnesses examined by the Solicitor will be introduced at the trial. In the course of his investigation he secured an affidavit from almost every employee of the pencil factory. While he questioned them closely and had each sign an affidavit, he found little that threw any new light on the case. He examined them, he said, to be sure that he would overlook nothing that might have been missed at the Coroner’s inquest or by the police.

Only a very few of these witnesses knew anything that could be used at the trial, he said, and it was very doubtful whether they would be called.

Scores Were Questioned.

Other witnesses by the score were brought to the Solicitor’s office as a result of the wild rumors connecting with the crime women who had seen Mary Phagan at various times during the day. The result of these affidavits was only to establish the fact that they knew nothing of the crime, and in the greater number of instances they did not know Mary Phagan.

When the Solicitor returns to the city Saturday or Sunday, he will announce definitely whether he will go to trial June 30, and if it is decided to do so, a jury will be drawn and subpenaes [sic] will be issued for witnesses. The defense will in all probability summon its own witnesses, although each side will have to acquaint the other with the names before the case goes to trial.

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The Atlanta Georgian, June 20th 1913, “Frank Trial Will Not Be Long One,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

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