Good Order Kept in Court by Vigilance of Deputies

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

Atlanta Constitution
August 3rd, 1913

Despite the throng that has gathered each day around the courthouse where a man is on trial for his life, and despite the number of people who have crowded in to fill every seat, there has been on the whole good order in the courtroom, due to the vigilance of the deputies in charge.

Sheriff C. W. Mangum sits daily in the room and with him are practically every deputy and bailiff that the courtrooms afford. To handle the large crowd and to take care of the entrance all of them are needed. In charge of the men is a deputy who has figured in practically every sensational trial in Atlanta for a number of years and whose knife with which he raps for order and tiny rose which he wears on his lapel are known to every court attendant in Atlanta. He is Plennie Miner, deputy sheriff in charge of the criminal division of the Fulton superior court and a master-craftsman in handling crowds, enforcing order and yet doing it in such a way as to avoid giving offense.

Liddell Second in Charge.

Drew Liddell, another one of the sheriff’s deputies, is second in charge, and there are in addition a number of city and county policemen who keep the crowds on the outside from clustering around the doorway.

The task that the deputies have is a big one each hour on account of the interest in the case and the length to which some of the spectators will go to obtain a choice seat. Should one of the lawyers or others directly interested in the trial leave his seat inside the railing for a moment someone is sure to watch for the deputy nearby to turn his back and then make a sudden dive for that seat. When one of the newspaper men goes to the telephone the same thing nearly always happens, and to prevent disorder and keep things moving the deputies have to keep constantly on the alert.

That it is only a certain element that will do this, of course, makes it easier for the men upon whom devolves the duty of keeping order, for if every one were like the husky that climbed through the window the other day, the task would indeed be hard.

Deputy Miner’s Statement.

That the deputies appreciate the efforts of a great number of the spectators to keep order and desire to ask that others do the same is shown by the statement which Deputy Miner gave out Saturday:

“As the first week of the Frank trial is nearing an end, I desire to express the gratefulness I feel to the public for its kind consideration of the conditions and circumstances which have crowded the place daily.

“Only 250 persons can be seated in the improvised courtroom, and the public, realizing this fact, has refrained from attempting to attend the sessions. Of course, the place has been filed each day, but not to overflowing.

“Sheriff Mangum has been in constant attendance with all the deputies of his staff. Attached to this force has been a sufficient number of [b]ailiffs from other sources. The county police also have been an invaluable aid to handling the crowds. I wish to extend thanks to the city police, without whom we would probably have suffered.

“But, above all, the public, realizing the situation, has acted in such a considerate manner that I wish to give my sincerest thanks to every one who, for a single instance, contributed one iota toward our assistance.


(Signed.) “PLENNIE MINER.”

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The Atlanta Constitution, August 3rd 1913, “Good Order Kept in Court by Vigilance of Deputies,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)