Argument of Clarence Darrow in the Case of the Communist Labor Party in the Criminal Court, Chicago
TRIAL OF TWENTY COMMUNISTS. Twenty members of the communist labor party were, placed on trial first before, Judge Oscar Hebel of the Cook county ... Show synopsis TRIAL OF TWENTY COMMUNISTS. Twenty members of the communist labor party were, placed on trial first before, Judge Oscar Hebel of the Cook county Criminal court on the charge of having violated the state act, approved June 28, 1919, making it un- lawful to advocate by word of mouth or writing the reformation or overthrow by violence or other unlawful means of the representative form of government Secured to citizens of the United States and the several states by the federal and state constitutions, to publish books, papers or pamphlets with that end in view, to organize or become a member of any society the object of which is to, overthrow the government, to be present at the meetings of such organizations, to permit the use of rooms or buildings for such purposes or to display flags or other devices symbolizing the purpose to overthrow representative government. The state employed as special prosecutor Frank Comerford, who had made a special study of Sovietism in Russia, and he was assist by Assistant State's Attorneys Lloyd Heth, and Marvin Barnhart. The defendants, of whom William Bross Lloyd, a wealthy resident of Winnetka, was the most prominent, were represented by William Forrest, Clarence S. Darrow and William A. Cunnea. The principal witnesses for the state were George Kummerow, an agent of the department of justice, and Detective Sergeants Lawrence McDonough and Charles Egan of the local anarchist squad. Former Mayor Ole Hanson of Seattle also testified for the state, describing the general strike in Seattle, which the state claimed was to be imitated by the Chicago communist labor party. On behalf of the defendants it was sought to be shown through other Seattle witnesses that the strike there was a harmless, sympathetic affair with no violence or disorder. The attorneys for the defense further claimed the right of their clients to free speech and the right to organize a political party not for the overthrow of the government but of the capitalistic system. ="The Chicago Daily News Almanac and Year Book for 1921"