Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.
July 28th, 1913
Wife Helps Prisoner Pick Men to Try Him
All in Readiness for Real Trial to Begin After Short Recess
Events on the opening day of the trial of Leo M. Frank, accused of the slaying of Mary Phagan in the National Pencil Factory, moved with such unexpected swiftness that it was apparent that the trial proper would be under way and the first witnesses called before the close of the first day’s session. The jury had been completed by the time recess was taken at 1:30.
After a few preliminary clashes between the opposing attorneys which presaged a bitter struggle when the fight for Frank’s life actually was begun, the court settled down to the selection of the jury. The whole morning session up to the recess was occupied with the examination of veniremen.
All the force of attorneys at the table for the defense watched with keen eyes every man examined and frequently referred to a voluminous r[e]cord containing the names of all the veniremen and detailed statements of their history and associations so far as these might have a bearing on their desirability as jurors to pass on Leo Frank’s guilt or innocence.
The keenest interest was manifested by those in the crowded little courtroom as the strategies of the brilliant lawyers were revealed during the examination.
State Had Veniremen’s Records.
The thoroughness with which the Solicitor and his assistants had canvassed the history of every venireman and had investigated whether or not he had ever expressed an opinion on the guilt or innocence of the accused was demonstrated when W. W. Hemmett, a salesman for the Kingsbury Shoe Company, was being examined as to his qualifications.
“Have you ever said you thought Frank was guilty?” Mr. Dorsey inquired.
“No, I never have,” replied Hemmett.Continue Reading →