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Murder case not open and shut

January 03, 2006

After a letter by Upton Sinclair was reported by The Times to show that the lawyer of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti believed them to be guilty, a Dec. 30 letter states, "They were, in fact, cold-blooded killers." The truth is considerably less clear.

The judge in the case was biased because the defendants were anarchists. Police manipulated evidence and pressured witnesses. Statements by those who may have been in a position to know said Sacco was guilty but Vanzetti was innocent. Another man confessed to the crime, had money in his possession that would have been approximately his share of the take, and used the same kind of gun as was used by at least one of the robbers. He indicated that Sacco and Vanzetti were innocent.

Sacco and Vanzetti were not given a fair trial. With a biased judge and misconduct by the police and prosecution, we cannot say with certainty that Massachusetts executed two guilty men.

DAVID HOLLAND

Northridge

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