Berkman & Goldman: Discrimination Against the Defense

Updated May 14, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Discrimination Against the Defense

After Alexander Berkman delivered his introductory address to the jury, the defense called its witnesses.

The prejudice and venom on the part of the Court and the Prosecution against Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman was demonstrated from the very beginning. It reached its climax in the brutal treatment of the friends of the defendants who came to attend the trial. While the court room was packed with friends of the Judge, Prosecuting Attorney and Marshal McCarthy, the friends of Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman were shoved about and insulted and on numerous occasions almost kicked down the stairs. It was under only the greatest difficulty that a few friends of the defendants could be passed through the Cossacks at the door of the American Court. On one occasion Emma Goldman had to call upon Judge Mayer for reasons why the friends of the two defendants were thus treated.

EMMA GOLDMAN: Your Honor, is there any special reason why the friends of the defense are kept out, as long as there is room in the court?

THE COURT: The control of the courtroom in such matters is entirely in the hands of the United States marshal. I assume that he is exercising his discretion appropriately.

EMMA GOLDMAN: We certainly protest against the discrimination.

THE COURT: The court has no knowledge of discrimination. How much time do you desire?

ALEXANDER BERKMAN: I think the defense will require about three hours altogether. Maybe less.

THE COURT: Well, endeavor to finish the defense's summing-up by 1:15 if possible.

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