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John A. Bingham
16 pages (2008/1899); 161KB downloadWOWIO Books
; ISBN: WOWIO-00480
“The trial of the assassins of President Lincoln was, in many respects, the most important State case in the history of English-speaking peoples since the discovery of America. As often happens where the occasion demands much, its very dignity may excite disappointment with the result, but it would be hard to overestimate the importance of such arguments as those of Bingham, Reverdy Johnson, and others, who handled the law and the evidence before the military commission which tried the conspirators. However great the disadvantage under which the attorneys for the defense were placed their arguments lose nothing in value with the passage of time, while on several points the argument for the prosecution has been outlawed by time. When Guiteau murdered President Garfield no one questioned the genuineness of the indignation of those he insanely claimed to represent, and the murderers of President Lincoln have long ago come to be regarded not as traitors but merely as assassins. The charges and the arguments supporting them as far as they are intended to suggest treason rather than murder are now universally looked upon as the result of a mistake of judgment excusable enough in the excitement of the times, but not justified by any evidence or any argument presented in connection with the evidence.”—David J. Brewer
John A. Bingham here sums up the evidence and presents his views of the law arising upon the facts in the case on trial of the assassins of President Lincoln.