The Trial of Sacco and Venzetti

Oppenheimer, Marty

Publisher:  Against the Current
Date Written:  01/09/2017
Year Published:  2017  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX21635

On May 5 both men were arrested for the Braintree murders. They were armed, Vanzetti with a .38 revolver, Sacco with a .32 Colt pistol.



A black Buick drew to the curb. Two men leaped out. Several shots rang out. Two strongboxes containing the cash were grabbed by the men who then leaped into the waiting car and were driven off. Berardelli lay dead on the street. Parmenter died of his wounds a day later.

And so began the case of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, the two Italian immigrant anarchists who were convicted of the murders. On April 23, 1927 they were executed in the electric chair at Charleston Prison, Boston. Celestino Medeiros, a career criminal guilty of killing a bank clerk during a robbery, was also executed that day.

The case came amidst a widespread "red scare" in response to the Soviet revolution of 1917, and in reaction to a series of bombings, the most recent of them by an Italian American anarchist group under the leadership of one Luigi Galleani. Galleani believed in revolutionary violence to overthrow the state.

In April 1919, bombs were sent to a set of establishment figures. Only one bomb went off, mutilating an African-American maid. The others were spotted by a Post Office worker. But on June 2 more bombs went off, one of them at the home of President Woodrow Wilson’s Attorney General, A. Mitchell Palmer.
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