Popular Cases by Clarence Darrow

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Case 1: The Leopold and Loeb Trial
The Prosecution Facts
Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold were adolescent friends convicted of abducting and murdering a 14-year-old boy from a famous family named Bobby Franks in 1924. Clarence Darrow was retained by the families of the two teens to represent them, and he altered the verdict of the teenagers from “not guilty” to “guilty” to escape the state’s capital punishment from the split jury’s decision. Judge John R. Caverly appeared kind, and the death penalty would not go for that. In order to clarify the specifics of the incident, over 100 witnesses were called in. The psychiatrist offered proof of mental immaturity, consumption of alcohol, glandular disturbances, and obsessions with crime and Darrow reminded the judge about the details (Linder). Darrow criticized the death penalty talking about the society being better than “an eye for an eye.” Darrow’s words made the judge, and other people in the court shed tears.
The resolution to the case against Leopold and Loeb, given by judge Caverly two weeks after the hearing, was that the judge called the murder “a crime of singular atrocity.” The judge explained that the teenagers were young and would benefit criminology study through using them for future studies (Linder). The judge saw it best to sentence the defendants to life in prison than death so that they can be beneficial in criminology study.
Case 2: The Trial of William “Big Bill” Haywood
Details of the Case
The case is about the struggle between the Western Federation of Miners and the Western Mine Owners Association where William Haywood was prosecuted for ordering an assignation on Frank Steunenberg who was a former governor in 1907. Frank was killed by an air explosion while entering his home in Idaho. Clarence Darrow was hired to defend William in the trial and seek to convince Adams to withdraw his testimony. The judge on the William Haywood case was Fremont Wood, and the jury selection was critical since it involved a political implication and took over six weeks. Many jurors did not want to work on the Haywood trial. Some of the witnesses in William’s trial were the doctor who attended to Frank at his deathbed and neighbors (Linder). Orchard testified as a killer for the union describing all crimes he committed. Judge Wood let the jury proof guilt of Haywood in connection to Frank’s assassination.
With the help of Darrow, the jury acquired Harry Orchard, and Haywood was sentenced to 30 years in prison under espionage and inciting a strike. On the other hand, Harry Orchard was sentenced to death but was later changed to life in prison. These verdicts made the fifteen-year labor war in the Western Mines come to an end (Linder).
Case 3: Massie Trials
Details of the Case
The Massie trials case involved two criminal trials; one trial for rape and the other for murder and both cases involved multiple defendants. Thalia Massie was the wife of Thomas Massie. The trial involved five men accused of rape in the Massie case. The judge of the case was Alva Steadman in 1931and a diverse ethnic Jury was selected for the trial. Dr. John Porter was Massie’s medical examiner, and other witnesses were police officers and investigators (Linder). The second trial is about the kidnapping of Joe Kahahawai by Thomas Massie and Deacon Jones. Darrow was hired as a defense attorney, and the judge was Charles Davis. Edward, a witness, explained that Deacon and Grace kidnapped his cousin. Thomas explained that the raping of her wife by Kahahawai is what angered him and feared her getting pregnant and this won over women in the courtroom (Linder). Darrow made the court see that Thomas was temporarily insane at the time of shooting due to her wife’s misfortune which led to a reflexive action.
After long hours of deliberation, the jury came to a verdict which was guilty of manslaughter but leniency recommended. The four were sentenced by Judge Davis to 10 years in prison and hard labor (Linder).
It is evident that Clarence Darrow was very good at his job as a defense attorney because he was able to help defendants gain their freedom or get minimal sentences after they were accused of crimes. Darrow is very manipulative depending on the situation to win the jury or judge’s favor by using emotional appeal among other techniques. Darrow has been successful in his work for a very long time till he retired after his last job in Hawaii.

Works Cited
Linder, Douglas. “Leopold and Loeb Trial (1924)”. Famous Trials. Retrieved from: http://famous-trials.com/leopoldandloeb Web.
Linder, Douglas. “The Trial of William “Big Bill” Haywood: An Account”. Famous Trials. Retrieved from: http://famous-trials.com/haywood/236-home Web.
Linder, Douglas. “Massie Trials (1931 & 1932) ”. Famous Trials. Retrieved from: http://www.famous-trials.com/massie/ Web.

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