Mrs. Frank Attacks Solicitor H. M. Dorsey in a New Statement

by Archivist on February 9, 2017

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

Atlanta Georgian

Saturday, June 7th, 1913

Solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey refused late Saturday afternoon to make reply to the reiterated accusations of Mrs. Leo M. Frank that “torture chamber” methods were made use of by the state to secure evidence from witnesses.

“I hav[e]n’t had time to read Mrs. Frank’s statement fully,” declared Mr. Dorsey, “and even though I did read it, I do not know that I would reply to it.”

Mrs. Frank’s second letter was made public Saturday morning and is as follows:

Atlanta Ga., June 7, 1913.

Editor Atlanta Georgian:

I think fairness to Mr. Frank requires that the public should clearly understand Mr. Dorsey’s position as stated by him in his card in The Constitution of June 6, and repeated in the papers yesterday, in reply to my statement that he proposes to use testimony which comes from witnesses as the result of torture.

His real position, as gleaned from his card, can be stated in the following sentence which he employed:

“I have only to say, without in anywise taking issue with her premises as I might” *** that “I welcome all evidence from any source that will aid an impartial jury, under the charge of the court, in determining the guilt or innocence of the accused.”

That is to say, he thinks it unnecessary to waste time in disputing the fact that the detectives are procuring testimony from witnesses by torture. He considers this point immaterial. He believes he is thoroughly justified in using tortured testimony, if it is turned over to him, for he says: “I welcome all evidence from any source.”

No Charge Against Woman

The Journal and The Constitution stated that he had had my cook arrested and carted to his office and quizzed to such an extent as to drive her into hysteria, and that after this he sent her screaming to the Police station in the patrol wagon. After she left his office she was taken to the detective’s Torture Chamber, and, according to The Atlanta Constitution, she there had the third degree applied to her to the point of exhaustion, after which she made an affidavit, which the detectives, or someone, immediately gave out to the papers.

The Solicitor had no charge against this cook and did not suspect her of any crime. Yet Mr. Dorsey waives this aside as a trivial matter, not worthy to be discussed by him, because he says: “I welcome all evidence from any source,” clearly implying that he will take it from the torture chamber if it is offered to him.

That he and the detectives violated the criminal law in arresting my cook when they had no charge against her and when they suspected her of no crime, I am told by lawyers, admits of no doubt. But this Mr. Dorsey thinks need not be discussed by him.

Thinks Public Is Opposed

While Mr. Dorsey thinks all this is entirely proper, it is the next thing to an impossibility to believe that many persons in the community will agree with him. Indeed, I would be surprised if a single person could be found who would agree with him that he should use, even in the newspapers, torture chamber testimony to take away a man’s life.

When Mr. Dorsey introduces this third-degree evidence to the jury, can it be supposed that he will at the same time tell the jury that it comes direct from the torture chamber?

It is our time to suffer now. Can anyone tell whose turn will come next?

I do not wish to be in any manner bitter toward Mr. Dorsey, even in my feelings, because it is so perfectly clear that his action is dictated by a serious mistake of judgment, and my only purpose is to let the community understand as thoroughly as I can, in the interest of fairness to my innocent husband, that Mr. Dorsey is proposing to use third-degree torture chamber testimony in an effort to take his life, and that he thinks it is perfectly proper for him to do so.

Know She Can Not Testify

Mr. Dorsey and the detectives know that I can not go on the witness stand and deny the affidavits they have published in the newspapers, wrung from my cook in the torture chamber by the third-degree process, because I am informed that under the law a wife will not be permitted to testify either for or against her husband. The law puts this absolute seal upon my lips, and my only recourse is in letting the community know the facts through the newspapers as far as I can.

I know I can not keep up with all the false affidavits and false rumors and innuendoes that have been so industriously put in the newspapers, but I feel that I should call attention in this instance to Mr. Dorsey’s position, which he so boldly justifies.

MRS. LEO M. FRANK.

* * *

Atlanta Georgian, June 7th 1913, “Mrs. Frank Attacks H. M. Dorsey in a New Statement,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)

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