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Haymarket: Four people were hung fighting for the 8-hour workday
November 11, 2005 12:09 PM   Subscribe

Four anarchist labor organizers were hung on this day in 1887 based entirely on their words. On May 4, 1886, a bomb exploded at a rally in Haymarket square in Chicago. One policeman was killed. The rally had been called to protest police violence against strikers who were supporting the 8-hour workday movement. Police rounded up the city's radical labor organizers and eventually tried eight for the murder of the policeman at Haymarket. While most of the eight had not even been present at the meeting, the others were shown to have nothing to do with the throwing of the bomb. After the defense appealed as far as they could, five of the defendants were sentenced to death. One committed suicide in his cell the day before the execution was to take place. The other four were hung on Nov. 11, 1887, the birthday of their defense lawyer, Capt. Black.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink (13 comments total)

 
One tangential thing I'm curious about... could you still get a situation where four people get the death sentence for only one murder?
posted by smackfu at 12:28 PM on November 11, 2005


Great stuff. I've always heard about the Haymarket, but never gotten all the details and context. This looks it should provide both, thanks!
posted by freebird at 12:28 PM on November 11, 2005


On a related tangent

Staff at DeCoro's factory in Shenzhen, an industrial zone bordering Hong Kong, said production had stopped with nearly 3,000 workers staying away to protest against an alleged attempt by management to cut wages.

Reports said riot police armed with shields and clubs dispersed Tuesday's protest. Factory managers gave workers a "day off" Wednesday but had been expecting them to work Thursday, said a report by the state-run newspaper Southern Metropolitan Daily.

History repeating , coming soon to your favourity country.
posted by elpapacito at 12:40 PM on November 11, 2005


smackfu : ... could you still get a situation where four people get the death sentence for only one murder?

I don't see why not, if all of them were involved in it.
posted by Godbert at 12:47 PM on November 11, 2005


Nice post.
posted by OmieWise at 12:52 PM on November 11, 2005


Due to the language of conspiracy statutes, one need not even by physically invovled with the killing in order to be convicted and executed for murder. Therefore, there is no theoretical limit to the number of people who could be executed for a single murder.

Practically, OTOH, for that to happen, you'd have to be talking about mass slaughter or the assassination of someone very important.
posted by thewittyname at 12:52 PM on November 11, 2005


Thanks for the post. By the way, things are "hung" and people are "hanged."
posted by kinch23 at 1:35 PM on November 11, 2005


smackfu writes "One tangential thing I'm curious about... could you still get a situation where four people get the death sentence for only one murder?"

Quick point of clarification: Though only one policeman was killed immediately, there were eleven civilian bystanders killed as well. Seven more police officers died later of injuries sustained. The police opened fire and killed eleven additional people. This is all just from the Wikipedia article...

30 deaths is a much bigger deal than "one policeman was killed", though charges were brought only in that one death (I imagine that since the death penalty was in play, the prosecutors saw no need to bring further charges). If people don't read the links, they might not get a good idea of the magnitude of the riot from the text of the FPP....

And yeah, the prosecution and executions were travesties of justice.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:35 PM on November 11, 2005


Meanwhile, in the present, legislators are trying to gut the writ of habeas corpus.
posted by homunculus at 2:35 PM on November 11, 2005


Meanwhile, in the present, legislators are trying to gut the writ of habeas corpus.

It seems like the distractions are working
posted by elpapacito at 3:20 PM on November 11, 2005


By the way, things are "hung" and people are "hanged."

You've never seen me naked.
posted by Kwantsar at 3:20 PM on November 11, 2005


Kwantsar took my line.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:34 PM on November 11, 2005


One tangential thing I'm curious about... could you still get a situation where four people get the death sentence for only one murder?

Felony murder is a death penalty charge in many states, and just requires being part of the crime that led to the murder. Say, being the driver in a deadly bank robbery.

Usually what they will do is get somebody like the driver to flip. Last year, I think, there was a case where two men accused each other of being the shooter in a murder. The prosecutor duly put each of them -- in separate trials -- on the stand against each other, as if each was the sole murderer. Both were convicted.
posted by dhartung at 6:40 PM on November 11, 2005


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