Honouring the legend of Darrow

first_imgThe American lawyer Clarence Darrow (pictured) did not come to the annual wreath-tossing in his honour last week. But then he hasn’t appeared since his death in 1938. Darrow, never a believer in Spiritualism, said that if he ever did return it would be in Jackson Park, Chicago, on the anniversary of his death. And every year on 13 March, now more in hope than expectation, lawyers assemble to give one-minute speeches at the park bridge, throw a wreath, and then retreat to the warmth for coffee and a proper lecture on a subject which would be dear to the great man’s heart. Darrow’s cases represent America’s golden age of criminal advocacy. He began his career as a corporate lawyer, moving into labour law, defending members of the unions charged in the Haymarket riots in Chicago in 1886, and in 1894 Eugene Debs, the anarchist who ran five times for the presidency. Then came his defence of ‘Big Bill’ Haywood, leader of the Industrial Workers of the World, accused in 1907 of the assassination of a former governor of Idaho. After a little localised trouble defending the McNamara brothers, and then himself when he was accused of bribery – the jury disagreed and he undertook not to practise again in California – he moved into criminal defence work full-time. In 1924 came the Leopold and Loeb trial, perhaps the first of the so-called trials of the century. The boys kidnapped and killed a 14-year-old in Chicago and Darrow saved them from the electric chair. It was made into the film Rope. Next year came the Tennessee ‘Scopes Monkey Trial’ when the defendant was charged with teaching the theory of evolution in contradiction of the Bible. In Detroit in 1926 when Dr Ossian Sweet was charged with shooting a white man, Darrow obtained an acquittal, telling an all-white jury, ‘I insist that there is nothing but prejudice in this case; that if it was reversed and 11 white men had shot and killed a black while protecting their home and their lives against a mob of blacks, nobody would have dreamed of having them indicted. They would have been given medals instead….’ I wonder how many of today’s lawyers have even heard of Darrow’s English contemporary the great defender Edward Marshall Hall. Let alone go out on a cold March morning to Regent’s Park to hold a wreath-tossing in his honour. James Morton is a writer and former criminal defence solicitorlast_img read more

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Survival course

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Diabolical liabilities

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The unspeakable truth

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Sporting highlights

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New dawn fades

first_imgStay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe now for unlimited accesslast_img read more

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Victorious losers

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first_imgStay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe now for unlimited access To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

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Turning of the tide: Super litigation

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Vive la restoration: Sir Michael Latham on the importance of heritage stock

first_imgStay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe now for unlimited access Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGINlast_img read more

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