MR. SEWARD FOR THE DEFENSE

Author: Conrad (Earl)
Year: 1956
Publisher: Rinehart & Co. (New York)
Edition Details: 1st US Edn.
Book Condition: Vg.
Price: £20.00
IN STOCK NOW
Hardback. In 1846, William H. Seward became the centre of controversy in his hometown when he defended, in separate cases, two felons accused of murder. Henry Wyatt, a white man, was charged in the stabbing death of a fellow inmate; William Freeman, of African American ancestry, was accused of breaking into a home after his release and stabbing four people to death. In both cases the defendants were likely mentally ill and had been abused while in prison. Seward, having long been an advocate of prison reform and better treatment for the insane, sought to prevent both men from being executed by using a relatively new defence of insanity. Seward gained a hung jury in Wyatt's first trial, though he was subsequently convicted in a retrial and executed despite Seward's efforts to secure clemency; Freeman was convicted, though Seward gained a reversal on appeal. There was no second Freeman trial, as officials were convinced of his insanity and the man died in prison in late 1846. In the Freeman case, involving mental illness with heavy racial overtones, Seward argued, "he is still your brother, and mine, in form and colour accepted and approved by his Father, and yours, and mine, and bears equally with us the proudest inheritance of our race—the image of our Maker. Hold him then to be a Man." 306pp. 8vo. h/back. From the library of true crime writer, Wilfred Gregg, with his personal b/plate. With 4 rubber stamps 'Discarded by USAF' and 'United States Air Force Bentwaters Base Library', but no pockets, dockets, or labels. Lightly browned and foxed edges, sl. sunned sp. Vg.

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