Grand Jury Meets to Consider Conley Case

by Curator on April 30, 2019

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.

Foreman Beatie announced that no witnesses had been summoned as yet, giving confirmation to the report that the meeting was called only for the purpose of passing on the petitions requesting the Grand Jury to reopen the murder investigation, and not for the purpose of proceeding at once to the definite consideration of Jim Conley’s indictment.

Solicitor Dorsey was the only person asked to appear before the jurors. Before they assembled he asserted that he was entirely confident that no indictment would be returned against the negro.

“I can not conceive that these men, when they are in possession of the facts of the case, seriously will consider bringing an indictment for murder against Conley,” said the Solicitor.

Foreman Beattie indicated that if a quorum were present and a decision were reached to go into the connection of Conley with the crime a number of witnesses would be served at once with subpenas and that an opportunity would be given for the presentation of all the important evidence against the negro.

He said, however, that the report that the meeting Monday was called for the definite and prearranged purpose of indicting Conley was utterly false.

Not to Ignore Dorsey.

“We have no intention of riding roughshod over the Solicitor,” he said. “The purpose of our meeting to-day merely is to become informed on the question and to determine if we are warranted in reopening the investigation with a view of bringing an indistment [sic] against Conley in case the evidence is sufficient.

“We propose only to discuss the matter informally and to have the Solicitor lay before us his reasons for desiring no action at this time. We have no desire to block the Solicitor in his prosecution of the case or to defeat the ends of justice in any manner. If we come to the conclusion that the investigation should be made, we have a list of witnesses we will ask to have called.”

William H. Mincey, author of the sensational affidavit which accused Conley of confessing to the killing of a girl on the afternoon that Mary Phagan was murdered, has returned to Atlanta, it was reported Monday, and is prepared to go before the Grand Jury to repeat his story, Min[…]

GRAND JPRY [sic] NOT TO HASTEN TO INDICT NEGRO

Foreman Declares Wishes of Solicitor Will Not Be Overridden Without Consideration.

Continued From Page 1.

[…]cey has been in Rising Fawn, Ga., where he was located by The Georgian after the publication of his remarkable story. He maintains that every word of his accusation is true and that he is eager to take the stand and assist in the vindication of Frank.

Reuben R. Arnold, of counsel for Frank, said Monday that no move would be made by the defense for a continuance of the case, which is set for trial a week from to-day. He asserted that the lawyers for Frank were prepared to go ahead with the trial at once.

* * *

The Atlanta Georgian, July 21st 1913, “Grand Jury Meets to Consider Conley Case,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

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