Sacco and Vanzetti

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Bartolomeo Vanzetti (left) and Nicola Sacco in handcuffs

Nicola Sacco (22 April 1891 – 23 August 1927) and Bartolomeo Vanzetti (11 June 1888 – 23 August 1927) were two Italian men who were convicted of murder in the United States in 1920. They were convicted of killing two men during an armed robbery in Braintree, Massachusetts.

Sacco and Vanzetti were immigrants to the country. Both were anarchists who supported rebellion against governments that were violent and oppressive.[1][2]

They were put on trial in 1921. They were convicted even though evidence was clear that they had not committed the crime. This evidence involved ballistics tests and several witnesses who claimed Sacco had been in Boston and Vanzetti in Plymouth on the day of the robbery. The two men were carrying weapons when they were arrested. To explain this, Sacco and Vanzetti had to explain their anarchist beliefs in court. It is believed that this may have prejudiced the jury (influenced their decision). Many believe that they were executed because they were immigrants. Their trial happened in the midst of the ‘Red Scare’, which was when many people did not like foreigners coming into their country, mostly because they were scared communists may come into the country and disrupt them.

The jury found Sacco and Vanzetti guilty of murder on 14 July 1921. The case drew attention from around the world. As details of the trial became public, many protests were held against their conviction. Sacco and Vanzetti were eventually executed on 23 August 1927. Since their deaths, scholars have mostly agreed that Sacco and Vanzetti were wrongfully convicted.[3][4] They also did not speak English so they could not get a defense attorney themselves. This would not have mattered because they could not afford an attorney anyway. Eventually, in 23 August 1927, they were executed by electric chair.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Eighteenth-Century American Newspapers in the Library of Congress: Massachusetts". USA: Library of Congress. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
  2. "Anarchy in the U.S. - Sacco and Vanzetti Subject of LC Lecture, September 18, 1995". USA: Library of Congress Information Bulletin.
  3. Montgomery, Robert (1960). Sacco-Vanzetti: The Murder and the Myth. NY: Devin-Adair. p. v.
  4. William Young and David E. Kaiser, Postmortem: New Evidence in the Case of Sacco and Vanzetti, Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1985, ISBN 0-87023-479-X