Reply Made To Frank’s Attack

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

Atlanta Georgian
August 28th, 1913

Solicitor Cites Prisoner’s Statement on Stand, “Now is the Time, This is the Place.”

Solicitor Dorsey was as busily engaged on the Frank case Thursday as he was any day before Leo Frank was convicted of the murder of Mary Phagan. If the factory superintendent finally succeeds in avoiding the penalty fixed it will not be because the Solicitor has not fought to the uttermost of his strength to put the rope around Frank’s neck.

Briefly but pointedly Solicitor Dorsey Thursday morning summed up his opinion of Leo Frank’s latest alleged statement concerning the trial and the Solicitor’s speech.

“Frank,” said the Solicitor in his quiet manner, “declared on the stand that now was the time and here the place, That’s all I have to say.”

The Solicitor declared that the State would ask the new Grand Jury which will be sworn in Tuesday, to indict Jim Conley immediately as an acknowledged accessory after the fact to the murder of Mary Phagan. He declared further that he had no intention of asking for a shortening of the sentence, as this was in the province of the Grand Jury and the judge.

No Vacation for Dorsey.

Although worn out as a result of the long strain, Solicitor Dorsey declared Thursday that it was his intention to keep right at work without taking a vacation. A few days of “taking it easy,” he said, will put him in excellent shape for the remainder of the summer.

The wheels of activity in the Solicitor’s office, which had stopped for a few hours after Frank’s conviction was obtained, started again Thursday as noiselessly and smoothly as though there had been no interruption of their tireless activity.

If the lawyers for Frank are going to put forth herculean efforts to save him from the gallows, every move on their part will be met with the most stubborn resistance by Dorsey.

When they announced that they would ask Judge Roan for a new trial the Solicitor calmly gave out that he proposed to ask the indictment of Jim Conley as accessory after the fact from the next Grand Jury at its first session.

In this he appears to display a certain confidence that the verdict of the twelve jurors last Monday will not be set aside. If Frank at a subsequent trial were found not guilty of the murder. Conley’s conviction as accessory after the fact, if not illegal, at least would be anomalous, in that there could be no accessory after the fact from the next Grand Jury at its first session.

In this he appears to display a certain confidence that the verdict of the twelve jurors last Monday will not be set aside. If Frank at a subsequent trial were found not guilty of the murder, Conley’s conviction as accessory after the fact, if not illegal, at least would be anomalous, in that there could be no accessory after the fact of the murder if a jury decided that Frank was innocent.

The announcement by Frank’s attorneys that they would continue their fight into the higher courts in the event that Judge Roan refused them a new trial was met by the renewed activity of the Solicitor in seeking out new evidence against the convicted man.

Exactly as though Frank were still in the Tower awaiting trial, the Solicitor gathered about him Wednesday and Thursday the detectives who have been working on the case and instructed them to run down rumors he had heard during the last days of the trial in respect to evidence which […]


Solicitor Prepares to Battle Appeal of Doomed Man for a New Trial.

[…] was said to be damaging to the superintendent.

If the case is reopened by a new trial, the Solicitor proposes to have strands of evidence even more strongly woven than they were at the first trial. The investigation is continuing with almost the same vigor that it did in the early days of the mystery, except that only three detectives are working on the case now. They are Bass Rosser, J. N. Starnes and Patrick Campbell.

Frank Aids Counsel.

Whenever a report comes to the Solicitor’s office of any new evidence, it is investigated by the detectives with the same care as it would have been received before Frank was condemned to death. It is regarded as likely that Dorsey will have a number of new witnesses if another trial is granted to the convicted man.

Frank, apparently as cheerful and optimistic as he was before the twelve jurors voted him to hang, is assisting his attorneys in picking out what it considered the weak points of Solicitor Dorsey’s case against him. With a mass of clippings and court transcriptions before him, he is boiling down the most important testimony of the trial and noting the various phases of the investigation as it progressed. Incidentally, he is preparing a statement in reply to the closing argument of the Solicitor which he has described as “full of holes as a sieve.”

The prisoner is being made comfortable at the Tower during the period that he is awaiting final disposition of his case. A new bed and some other furnishings were brought there, and Frank’s quarters were thoroughly cleaned and renovated.

The prisoner’s wife and his mother visited him during the afternoon, his wife remaining until nightfall. His mother will return to Brooklyn within a short time but probably will be back in Atlanta when the arguments for a new trial are made October 4.

Solicitor Dorsey has no doubt that an indictment against Conley as accessory after the fact will be returned by the next Grand Jury. The indictment will be the first thing that will be brought to the attention of the Grand Jury when it meets the first week in September.

Frank Works on Statement.

Frank continued Thursday to work on the statement which he intends as an answer to Solicitor Dorsey’s speech before the jury. He also received many visitors, among them his mother, Mrs. Frea Frank, who will leave shortly for her home in Brooklyn.

Mrs. Frank’s bearing showed no traces of the effect which the death sentence imposed upon her son must have had. She was dressed in a white shirtwaist and black skirt, with the broad-brimmed black hat which was familiar to courtroom attendants during the trial.

The prisoner’s father-in-law, Emil Selig, joined him at breakfast and remained for two hours. Frank’s wife did not visit her husband during the morning.

Friends reported the convicted superintendent as being in good spirits and very much engrossed in the statement upon which he is working.

Discharges Jury Which Tried to Indict Conley

The Grand Jury which took up the question of indicting Jim Conley, accuser of Leo Frank over the protest of Solicitor Dorsey will be discharged Friday by Judge George L. Bell, of the Superior Court. A new Grand Jury will be sworn in next Tuesday.

It is significant that the Grand Jury which sought to indict Jim Conley will not have the opportunity to indict him as an acknowledged accessory after the fact in the murder of Mary Phagan.

Judge Bell is expected to return Thursday while his colleagues, Judge Pendleton and Judge Ellis, will return in time for the new term which begins next Tuesday.

Sheriff Denies Frank Is Favored Prisoner

Denying vigorously that the floors of Leo Frank’s cell were being oiled and varnished. Sheriff Mangum Thursday morning declared he was treating Frank just like any other prisoner.

“It is folly to talk about Frank’s call being oiled,” said the Sheriff “when the floor of the cell is made of concrete.”

“I am treating Frank just like any other prisoner. Certainly no one can blame me for allowing him to earn food, that is sent to him by his relatives and friends and that is the only difference in treatment.”

* * *

Atlanta Georgian, August 28th 1913, “Reply Made to Frank’s Attack,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)