Death threats to jury claimed by Jews never happened; were invented by Frank partisans years later
EDITOR’S NOTE: Jews are losing the debate on the Leo Frank case — the very case that sparked the creation of their “Anti-Defamation League.” Due to the efforts of the National Alliance and its allies, the truth about Frank’s guilt is all over the ‘Net, social media, and respected alternative media.
There is no contemporary source for the claim that mobs threatened the jury with death. No newspaper accounts mention such threats — and some of the papers were quite pro-Frank — and the jurymen specifically denied that they experienced any, inside or outside the courtroom. Frank’s own lawyers never complained of such threats, which surely would have been grounds for an instant mistrial and change of venue — which they never asked for. The evidence is overwhelming that Frank is guilty.
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A GROUP OF lawyers and judges led by a rabbi gathered at a synagogue Sunday to say the state of Georgia should exonerate a Jewish businessman who was lynched 100 years ago for a murder they believe he didn’t commit—and for which they believe he was convicted out of fear of an anti-Semitic mob. (ILLUSTRATION: Former Ga. Supreme Court Justice Leah Ward Sears speaks at the Memorial service for Leo Frank. Sunday August 16, 2015, Kol Emeth Temple, Marietta Ga.)
They gathered at Temple Kol Emeth in Marietta, a few miles away from the tree on which Leo Frank died 100 years ago Monday. Prayers were said for the souls of Frank and Mary Phagan, the 13-year-old girl he was accused of killing. The audience of about 400 was asked to sign a petition for Frank’s exoneration.
“The rule of law should never be overcome by the rule of the mob,” said Cobb County Superior Court Chief Judge J. Stephen Schuster, who spoke first and introduced the other speakers, including a prosecutor, two former Georgia Supreme Court justices and a lawyer who led the argument for Frank’s pardon in the 1980s after a new witness emerged, identifying another man as the killer.
The lawyer who won the pardon, Dale Schwartz of Schwartz Posel in Atlanta, an immigration firm, said he didn’t believe the Board of Pardons and Paroles would revisit the issue, having declined to rule on guilt or innocence before. The board signed a pardon that was only an acknowledgement that the state failed to protect Frank in the prison from which the lynch mob grabbed him.
“We would like some official statement from the state of Georgia that Leo Frank is innocent,” said Schwartz. He said it could come from the Legislature or the governor. “The history books should be closed with total forgiveness and exoneration of Leo Frank.”
Leah Ward Sears, a Schiff Hardin partner and retired chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, told the story of the 14 lynch men from Marietta—including lawyers, a judge, a sheriff, a former governor, two former mayors and teachers—who drove all night to the state prison in Milledgeville to kidnap Frank and bring him back for a morning hanging. She noted the lynch mob was never prosecuted.
Sears said that while it would be nice to think such a thing would not happen again, recent events raise concern about continuing injustice. She mentioned white police officers shooting unarmed black men in Ferguson, Missouri, and North Charleston, South Carolina, and a white supremacist shooting a group of African-American worshipers in a Charleston church.
Former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Norman Fletcher used the occasion to call not only for the exoneration of Frank but for the abolition of the death penalty.
He lamented the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision denying Frank’s appeal. That decision prompted Gov. John Slaton, who believed Frank did not have a fair trial, to commute Frank’s death sentence to life, leading to Frank’s lynching.
“We can’t bring Leo Frank back to life, but we can see to it that he is exonerated,” Fletcher said. “And we can end the practice of the state doing the same thing as the accused: taking the life of a human being, created in the image of God.”
Georgia Assistant Attorney General Van Pearlberg, a former Cobb prosecutor, told the story of Frank’s trial, which he said was derailed by prejudicial publicity, false testimony and an angry mob outside the courthouse. He quoted Frank defense attorney Reuben Arnold calling the case the “most horrible prosecution of a Jew since Christ.” He said the mob would chant to jurors outside their hotel, “Hang the Jew or we’ll hang you.”
The service concluded with a speech from Rabbi Steven Lebow, who has been studying the Frank case since he moved to Marietta 30 years ago. He offered what he called a “hopeful conclusion” to the “horrible deeds and despicable acts” behind the stories told.
“It happened in a Georgia that is long gone,” Lebow said. “We don’t live in the old South anymore.”
In the spirit of the new South, “we come to demand that Leo Frank’s name finally be cleared,” Lebow said. “How hard can it be?”
Lebow offered such poetic lines as “justice is the debt that the present owes the future,” and “justice delayed is justice denied.” He quoted John Lennon and called on the crowd to help him. “You may say I’m a dreamer, but what?” The audience filled in the line with “but I’m not the only one.”
The congregation stood and applauded when Lebow closed with a final call on the state to clear Frank’s name. “Nothing more is needed, but nothing less will do,” the rabbi said. “You cannot make the future good unless you are willing to make the past right. Where are you?”
Before leaving, the congregation sang, “God Bless America.”
Below is a clip from the get together and service:
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Source: Daily Report