EMMA GOLDMAN: We move to set aside the verdict
as being against the weight of evidence.
THE COURT: The stenographer may note that
the motion is made, with formalities to cover all grounds upon
which a motion to set aside a verdict may be made.
EMMA GOLDMAN: I wish to ask that sentence
be deferred for a few days and that the present bail be continued
meantime, because we want to arrange our affairs, which we have
not had time to do during the trial.
THE COURT: The motion to set the verdict
aside is denied.
MR. CONTENT: The Government moves for sentence.
And the Government feels in a case of public importance like this
case that the judgment and mandate of the Court should be speedily
THE CLERK: Alexander Berkman to the bar!
Is there any reason why the sentence of the Court should not now
be pronounced upon you?
ALEXANDER BERKMAN: Well, I think that it
is only fair to suspend sentence to give us a chance to arrange
our affairs. And the fundamental reason why sentence should not
be pronounced is that we are innocent of the charge and we are
convicted as Anarchists, out of prejudice and bitterness. That's
THE CLERK: Miss Goldman, have you anything
to say why sentence should not be imposed?
EMMA GOLDMAN: I wish to say that the very
fact that we are refused to have sentence deferred for several
days to arrange our affairs proves that the Court is prejudiced
because we are Anarchists; because we were frank and because we
stood by our opinions, and because we are going to stand by our
THE COURT: Gentlemen of the jury, I wish
you would remain, for I desire to say before I may forget it that
I think the appreciation of the Court and the community is due
to you for the fearless and prompt manner in which you have discharged
It has undoubtedly been a source of regret
to the gentlemen of the jury, as it has been to the Court and
possibly to those who have sat in the courtroom for these many
days, that the extraordinary ability displayed by the defendants
has not been utilized in support of law and order. The magnetic
power of one of the defendants, if thus utilized, might have been
of great service, in forms legitimately advocated, for the betterment
of conditions as the world goes on. That power might have been
of tremendous service, and more especially among the millions
of humbler people who come to our country in an aspiration for
liberty. I understand, I think, what has been spoken of as the
psychology of the defendants, and I am quite sure that they understand
what might be called the psychology of the Court. We do represent
the existing order of things, in-so-far as that means that progress
must be accomplished in this country by lawful means. We regard
as enemies of the Government in the most serious sense of that
term those who advocate the abolition of this Government, those
who counsel disobedience to our laws and those who induce the
less strong-minded to disobey our laws. These may be very old
and to some very tiresome sentiments. But they are the sentiments
that from our point of view have become apart of our lives, won
at great expense by the Revolutionary Fathers, by the men who
fought in the great civil conflict and by the men who now are
willing to stand by their country when their country needs them.
We have no place in this country for those
who express the view that the law may be disobeyed in accordance
with the thoughts of an individual. I am expressing not my view
alone, I am expressing the view of what we in America understand
to be the views of a true democracy and a true republic. The Government
has thus far enacted no special statute to deal with those who
counsel disobedience and who advise insurrection; who seek to
reach and control the humbler people, some of whom don't understand
things, by methods such as were disclosed in this case. And I
desire, so far as I am concerned, that my words shall be perfectly
understood, not merely by those who are here but by anyone else
who has in his mind that he is stronger than the law. It makes
very little difference what becomes of a single administrator
of the law, whether he be officer, marshal, district attorney
or judge. They come and go. But in this country the law is an
imperishable thing that lives forever. And it merely uses for
the moment as its administrators some human beings who may at
any time give way to others. And so, when I impose this sentence
I am imposing it on the one hand with regret that these abilities
were not better used. I impose it on the other hand with profound
conviction that I am speaking for organized law, for the kind
of liberty that we know and we understand, who have been privileged
to live in this country that we believe is a true democracy. The
maximum sentence under the statute is two years and $10,000 fine.
I sentence the defendant Alexander Berkman to the United States
penitentiary in Atlanta for two years and fine him the sum of
I sentence the defendant Emma Goldman to
the State penitentiary at Jefferson City, Mo., for two years and
fine her the sum of $10,000.
I further direct the District Attorney under
the provisions of the immigration act to forward to the Commissioner
of Labor the record of this conviction, in order to determine
in due course whether or not either or both of the defendants
are subject to the provisions as to deportation provided in that
act. That is a matter which is under the statute, an administrative
matter for the Commissioner of Labor. And the District Attorney
is directed to forward the record of this conviction to the Commissioner
The Court is now adjourned without date.
EMMA GOLDMAN: Just one moment, please. We
wish to ask--as we intend to appeal the case--whether we may have
time to consult with counsel and to proceed with the preparation
of the appeal.
THE COURT: Under our rule you have ninety
days within which to sue out a writ of error. And in order that
there may be no mistake or confusion on the subject, the stenographer
will note that the defendants may have ninety days within which
to sue out a writ of error.
EMMA GOLDMAN: We should however like to
know more specifically whether we may, after we are taken away
from here, consult regarding the appeal or whether we are to be
spirited away in a speedy manner. We would like to know that,
to be quite clear where we stand.
THE COURT: The fullest opportunity within
the ninety days will be given to the defendants to consult counsel
and prepare their assignments of error and their writ of error.
If in the course of that period there is no such opportunity,
the defendants can address a communication to the Court and the
Court will see that such an opportunity is afforded them. As a
matter of fact, such opportunity is your right at any time within
EMMA GOLDMAN: May I just ask what the procedure
is, regarding whether we can now--I mean within the next hour
or two--consult with counsel about our appeal? We ought to know
THE COURT: The custody of the defendants
is with the Marshal, and the Marshal will attend to the matter
referred to. Court is now adjourned.
EMMA GOLDMAN: I wish to thank the Court
for the marvelous fair trial we have received. History will record,
Your Honor, that two people asked for an adjournment, or rather
deferring of sentence, of two days to arrange their affairs, and
yet the Court considered them so dangerous to the United States
that it would not even give them two days--which are given to
the most heinous criminal. Thank you very much.
Notwithstanding the Judge's statement that
it was the defendant's right to have ninety days in which to prepare
their appeal, Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman were taken away
from New York on the same evening and rushed, on midnight trains,
to the penitentiaries at Jefferson City, Mo. and Atlanta, Ga.
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