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You talk about evil. Will wickedness never see. Now I'm no spring chicken. Not much surprises me. But then what are you talking about Grace all over the paper. Oh yeah yeah pretty awful crying shame. What in the world whatever under the sun would make a man do such a thing were what makes anybody do anything don't ask me ask a psychiatrist in this case I magine economist would do very nicely very nicely indeed an economist. The root of all evil I don't think so Greys not this time this fellow doesn't look like money matters much to him but I don't see how you can say that you think suits like his come from the Bon Ton file but he's first in line with that Bond Street man comes to town. Do you know that man won't eat a baked potato without sour cream and chives or a steak without mushrooms. I always have to have Roquefort nice salad to hamburger. Dogs. Money doesn't matter to a man like that oh look how come you know so many nice little details about this character. Well I play bridge with his wife every Thursday don't talk you want with that man's wife for goodness sake. George is an old friend of yours. You introduced him to me yourself
years ago. Right so I never in my life laid eyes on this man except in the newspaper. GEORGE She's an old old friend of yours. Where would I make friends with a man like him he's my type. He was my type even before they said he was a spy. I'm not talking about him. No no I'm talking about the counsel for the defense George. I'm talking about the spy's lawyer his lawyer. Justice to every man his due. A series of radio programs about the principles of justice. To every man his due is produced by radio station WAGA at the University of Wisconsin under a grant from the National Educational Television Radio Center. In cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters.
Now counsel for the defense. That deaf people met. You may be a friend of yours. No no wait just a minute but he's no friend of mine. No indeed. These words from the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States in all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense. These words along with similar ones in the constitutions or statutes of all the states give proof that ours is among other things a humane system of justice. Nowhere in this land is a person accused of crime required by law to stand before the bar of justice with the whole might of the state against him. To stand there alone helpless undefended everywhere. Everyone accused of a crime has the right to have a lawyer at his side. If he can't afford a lawyer and if he's accused of a capital crime any American court will appoint counsel for his defense if his is a non-capital case. Federal
courts will appoint counsel and at least 34 states the court will appoint counsel if the defendant so requests so vital and fundamental is the right to counsel that a person may not even waive it except at the discretion of the judge who must decide whether the defendant is competent to make such a grave decision. The law leaves little room for argument about it. Every person accused of crime has the right to counsel. Few would argue that it should be otherwise. Most take it for granted that the defense attorney is indispensable in criminal court as is the judge himself. However now and then there comes along that piece that monster A Crime So Monstrous as to tax our normally humane attitudes toward our fellow man. Such cases give the acid test to our understanding of the right to counsel and our devotion to it. Maybe it's a case of treason. You know what they say. It takes one to defend them but I don't think you can go that well anyway. Anyone who could defend a traitor just couldn't feel about his
country the way the rest of us do. Could he. Maybe it's a case of murder and especially cold blooded murder. The Loeb Leopold case for example that lawyers should be ashamed of himself. What some people won't do for money or the Lindbergh kidnap murder case. What kind of a man could defend that beast. Yes and what kind of man must he have been. The lawyer who defended out of Eichmann believe that every person accused of a crime has a right to have a lawyer has a right to be a little choosy doesn't he that's my point. All I'm saying is that any lawyer who chooses to defend people who sell out their own country. Well George you can be friends with him if you like. I wish you'd stop calling him my but I'll bite off my tongue before I speak to that man again. And I'll tell you another. Now let me tell you it'll be a cold cold Fourth of July when I play bridge with his wife again. I tell you it will. Meeting the acid test that way can have quite an influence on the right to counsel. Quite an
influence. Consider what happened in Boston in the year 1770 six stormy years before the Declaration of Independence. It was British soldiers then who played Yankee Doodle meaning it to be derisive. British soldiers two whole regiments of red coats and in Boston to the consternation of Tom the. Red Coats ROWDY ONE drunk saucy when so noisy in any condition. The rego symbols of the hated Tums and doing something with couples in the bailiwick of John Hancock James Otis Paul Revere John Adams and Sam Adams and his liberty boy the. Red Coats in Moscow was it was enough to make even the price of. Rice in this crack. Was very nearly more than the Yankee fly stood. On March 5th that year an incident occurred in Boston.
Circumstance is something of the sort might have been quick to follow the. Eight British soldiers fired into a street crowd killing four of Boston's young men and mortally wanting a fifth Boston made the most of the incident. The horrid massacre in Boston perpetrated in the evening of the fifth day of March 1770 by soldiers of the twenty ninth regiment began the 22 page report dispatched immediately to London and including the sworn statements of more than 90 witnesses. I will you LeBaron testify and say I saw about 13 or 14 soldiers appear in King Street near the watch house with their drawn swords cutlasses and bayonets calling out where are the damn bluebirds cowards. What are your Liberty Boys. At which time there was not more than eight or ten persons in King Street. I Robert Poley was going home with my friends when I met in Boston at eight
or nine soldiers armed with drawn swords and cutlasses. One had a tongs another a shovel with which they assaulted me. Samuel I would bet ten or twelve soldiers armed with drawn cutlasses and but you know which god Dep. asked if they meant to murder people. They answered Yes by God root and branch with that one of them struck your deponent with the club. The deponent being one of the soldiers came up to me. Damn me and made several passes at me with a drawn sword. The last of which the sword went between my arm and breast and then I ran as I had nothing to defend myself. They came along. Some soldiers running coats on driving along swearing and cursing and dancing like wild animals seeing and Yankees slay them all. I was chased by a soldier with a naked bayonet already run me through my private Kilroy's bayonet whistling with bright blood through every.
Year. The day after the Boston Massacre eight soldiers and their captain lay in Boston's jail charged with murder. Nine men as hated as any in history. The street swarmed with people angry up in arms as if private Kilroy had blood on his bayonet. Boston had blood on its mind. John. Made a late. Start on. A fact. That the minister. Said right. From the call that shall his blood be shed. And it. Shows. Crowded streets on the morning of the 6th passed a friend of the nine prisoners on a desperate mission.
Tears drenched his face we're told as in one law office after another. He received the same reply. Valet you can't be serious. Me. Good day to be sure I may be called a Crown lawyer and also one who values his own. If I may be permitted a bit of wit on this grim morning it was hardly a joking matter. The nine men were charged with murder would be tried for murder and if found guilty would die. No lawyer would undertake their defense. But the fact is at that time English law took a curious if not altogether dim view of the right to counsel. The right was guaranteed in misdemeanor cases but in felony cases which then all too often carried the death penalty. The right to counsel could be denied except in treason cases. However in practice courts in England
and in the colonies especially in the colonies were more generous allowing counsel to defend those accused of crime. Allowing it. Yes but suppose no lawyer would take the case. Suppose a case that arose such feeling in the populace that lawyers feared the consequences of defending the accused feared they or their families would be ostracized feared for their careers. Even for their lives it happens occasionally in our own times that a person finds it difficult to get a lawyer because of the public's attitude toward him or his case because in short the public feels he has no right to counsel. It happened in the case of the Boston Massacre. No lawyer was willing to take the risk. No sympathiser that is who might have been expected to defend soldiers of the crown. All were intimidated by public opinion. But we must have no mob rule in Boston mobs will never do to govern states or to command armies said a certain lawyer who was anything but a lawyer. I will take this case but I have and I will defend these men.
The lawyer said. He was rather a young man though probably Boston's best lawyer a man in his mid 30s far from rich one whom the Liberty Boys had been known to serenade and who himself had sung the Liberty song on more than one occasion. Turning his pen to Liberty's cause was more his style his lawyer too had a family did know Abigail was expecting again. And he had a house at the very front door of which he had often endured the challenge of a British sentry. Every morning for months he'd been awakened by the crash and clatter of the military beneath his window. He hated the presence of soldiers in Boston as much as any man he despised the policies they symbolized as much as any. But he would take the soldier's case and he would suffer the consequences. Rock sailed through his windows. Voices whined at him from behind hedges.
Where did you get my thumb. Does Mr. John. Have they already book you got something for you sir. It won't cost us you know I can't just turn cold. Here is my new I get her in that condition. Ashamed to say I feel very sorry for I shall be a rich woman now. They say he's gone absolutely mad. He got nineteen guineas nineteen guineas for a case that dragged on from March until well into the following winter nineteen guineas for a case that came near to breaking him physically emotionally and financially. It was one of those cases the lawyer in his diary in which my head or my heart perhaps a conspiracy of both compelled me to differ in opinion from all my friends to set at defiance all their advice their remonstrances their raillery their ridicule is sensuous and their stock ASMS without acquiring one symptom of pity from my enemies. This man would become the first vice president and the second president of the United States. This was Sam's cousin Abigail's husband
John Quincy's father. This was John Adams. John Adams would you be so good as to tell me why you would you feel called upon to defend these monstrous murderous and not murderous Madame men men those drunken to prey blood crazed beast man. Men who are accused of murder but who are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Yeah splitting that principle madam is one of the bollix of our liberty and those murderous as man happened to represent a government which has set itself against our liberty. Those murderous mom's hands are British soldiers rape cold. What have you to say to that. I say madam that they are man whatever they may be you are not yet told us why you must defend them. Because madam they are men. Which is precisely what Boston had forgotten and what we in our time on occasion may forget when especially had to defend and stand at the bar of justice. The
British soldiers were men. Individual units of human life. Areas like Boston itself to a tradition which attached significance to individual units of human life. A tradition which bestowed upon each certain basic rights rights reserved against government itself the totality of those rights constituting liberty liberty about which Boston was gine knowledgeable and outspoken yet Boston seemed bent upon depriving these nine men of one of liberties most basic rights. One about which there could be no argument not even in Boston. Really Mr. Adams I said nothing of the soul. Do you take us for I mean like in savages. Who must have a fair trial a fair trial is everyone's right. I think trial by old me even in the back country a witch may expect as much as a fair trial. Oh yes that right was undeniable. And yet how fair can a trial
be when the defendant stands alone at the bar of justice. How much do layman know of the law of legal procedure. How much do you know. A fair trial may be had is the reason for the existence of the right to counsel. At present American law does not say that justice can never be done that a trial can never be fair when there is no counsel for the defense. It does say that a trial is not fair if a defendant is forbidden the assistance of a lawyer whom he has hired. It does also say that counsel must be appointed to ensure a fair trial in capital cases unless a defendant competent to do so. Waves this right. It says also that an unrepresented defendant must suffer no prejudice or other injustice traceable to the absence of counsel. Generally then the right to counsel has come to mean that most persons accused of crime ought to have and must have counsel to ensure their right to a fair trial. John Adams
back in 1770 believe the British soldiers could not expect a fair trial unless defended by counsel. Consider their trial of the eight soldiers which followed that of their count right. Oh yes oh yes. You see here yeah cause I really could not in session I consider services rendered there by John Adams counsel for the defense collector will read the indictment. William when's William McCauley MATTHEW GILL write you much coverage James Hardy Hugh White William Wong and John Carroll. Not having the fear of God before their eyes but being moved and seduced by the instigation of the devil and their own wicked hearts. Good on the fifth day of this instant march with force and arms feloniously willfully and of them that was a forethought commit the crime of murder. How plead the accused like you know me not God send you a good deliverance. At this point in the trial came the selection of a jury. Time and again John Adams was heard to
say refused and spectators in the crowded courtroom might have been heard to say to see what our lawyer friend is doing. Same criminal he's aiming to refuse every town born man among that it was all massacred should not Boston man judge them who murdered man of Boston. Should a partial and prejudiced jury judge any man. The law John Adams had studied said a jury must be impartial just how impartial could a Bostonian be. After all the talk and the fury could any Boston man come to court without having made up his mind as to the guilt or innocence of the accused. John Adams thought not. And the question is would the soldiers defending themselves have had the forethought to eliminate Bostonians from the joy or the knowledge of courtroom procedure that would have enabled them to do it. Stand at the heart of it. The trial was underway. The spectators settled back many with lunch boxes on their knees to see justice done justice to what two men
or two symbols of hated policies John Adams in his turn undertook to clarify that matter May it please your honour's and you gentlemen of the jury. I am for the prisoners at the bar. And shall apologize for it only in the words of the Marquis of the carrier. If I can be but the instrument of preserving one life. His blessing and tears of transport shall be a sufficient consolation to me for the contempt of all mankind. There was a stir in the court room we're told. People craned their necks to see the soldiers as though remembering for the first time that there were human beings inside those bright coats. More important however than John Adams feelings about his fellow man was the attitude of the law toward human life as the prisoners stand before you for their lives. It may be proper to recollect with what temper the law requires that we should proceed to this time trial at the trial commences with the prayer of the court expressed
by the clerk to the Supreme Judge of judges empires and worlds. God send you a good deliverance in the rules laid down by the greatest English judges. We are to look upon it as more beneficial that many guilty persons should escape unpunished than that one innocent person should suffer. Very well. The life of man was supremely important. Did it not follow therefore So shedding the blood of man by man shall his blood be shed. Yeah man that concept of justice was in the minds of many in that courtroom. It had been repeated in the streets in the churches and in the press. John Adams knew this well and he met it head on. I do not take it to be a rule that where innocent blood is shed. The person must die. Here are two persons the Father and the son go out to hunt. They take different roads. The father hears a rushing in the bushes fires and kills his own son. In such an accident innocent blood is
taken. Yet you want the father to die. It is not criminal in all cases for one man to slay another. Permit me to read to you from the law. He who on the salt retreats to the wall beyond which he can go no further before he kills the other is judged by the law to act upon on the avoidable necessity. The law of self-defense. What the soldiers having no counsel have known this law. The spectators in the courtroom didn't know it. The jury didn't. The judges did of course but there was evidence that they being loyal to the crown were fearful for their own safety here in Boston. What they have instructed the jury in this law. Adams did and then he said place yourselves in the situation of these soldiers. The people shouted designing and making the mob whistle is as terrible as in India and yet the people are crying. Kill them kill them knock them down and heaving snowballs oyster shells clubs white brick
six three and a half inches in diameter. Consider yourselves in this situation and then judge if a reasonable man would not consider they were going to kill him. Oh I don't really feel it was hardly the picture of the Boston Massacre which rumor and gossip and those 91 statements and painted. This was a picture which might never have emerged had the soldiers gone on trial without a lawyer. During the months preceding the trial they had been locked in jail with no opportunity to secure witnesses whose testimony might reveal what really happened on the night of March 5th. John Adams had found more than 50 50 honest and reliable citizens who had this story to tell. As I stood by the set you know there was a barber's boy came up and pointed to the set now and said This is the son of a. Well you know. That knocked me down. And he's saying this to people immediately cried out killing killing and knocking down what number of people who are there about the sentinel near 200 men and boys.
I showed them through English to shells and snowballs at the sentry at the Custom House door. He was on the steps. Let's burn the sentry box which he would overboard. But they did neither. Just before the soldiers fired I heard the people say Damn you where you bloody banks. I was the surgeon who tended to fatally wounded man in his dying after dressing his wounds I advise him never to go again into quarrels and riots. He said he was very sorry he did so. He told me also he was a native of Ireland. He'd frequently seen mobs soldiers called them. But it seemed soldiers fire often on the people in Ireland but had never seen them bear half so much before they fired in his life. Dr Jeffries when had you your last conversation with this man. About four o'clock in the afternoon preceding the night in which he died. He then particularly said he forgave the man whoever he was that shot him. He was satisfied he had no malice but fired to defend himself as witness after witness appeared for the defense an ugly picture emerged. The picture of a
mob of men and boys quite possibly tools of someone wanting trouble beating first a lone sentry then the small party of soldiers who came to his defense pelting them with snowballs chunks of ice oyster shells threatening them. The evidence was damaging so damaging indeed that the jury faced a terrible dilemma. Convict the soldiers or convict Boston at the soldier's simple unlettered men been defending themselves and that they managed somehow to bring the trial to this point. Could they have resolved the dilemma so deftly as did John Adams. We have been entertained with a great variety of phrases to avoid calling this sort of people a mob. Some call them Shavers some call them geniuses. The plain English is Gentleman most probably our motley rabble of saucy boys and outlandish Jack Tars. And why we should scruple to call such a set of people a mob I can't conceive of unless the
name is too respectable for them. The sun is not about to stand still or go out nor the rivers to dry up. Because there was a mob in Boston on the 5th of March that attacked a party of soldiers. Such things are not new in the world nor in the British still minions though they are comparative rarities and novelties in this town. Indeed from the nature of things soldiers quartered in a populous town will always occasion two mobs where they prevent one. They are richly conservators of the peace. Could any of the defendants who are after all soldiers and outlanders as well have brought that off gentleman to your candor and justice I submit. The prisoners and their cost for two and a half hours those assembled in the courtroom awaited the jury's verdict less eager enough for blood more intent on justice. They waited to learn the fate of men. No not empty red coats. Not British taxes and policies. And they waited with the knowledge that
Boston itself had a share of guilty and it's a horrid massacre with the jury deciding. By the way William Webster's James Hartigan What do you Macaulay. Hugh White William Warren and John Carroll. Not guilty. Matthew Kilroy and Hugh Montgomery. Not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter. Massachusetts men serve the cause of liberty many times but never not in the Boston Tea Party not on the night of Paul Revere's ride not even a Bunker Hill. Never did they serve it better than in the years 1770 when they gave a fair trial to soldiers who wore red coats. But for that matter every fair trial serves liberties cause and converse like every unfair one does it
disservice the law which protects our liberty is an evolving law. Whatever is done in its name whatever is said or believed contributes to its evolution. What happens to one man at the hands of the law may happen later to another. The law with regard to the right to counsel evolved more rapidly in America than in England. Among the precedents which advanced its evolution was that set by John Adams standing against the clamor of an outraged populace. Good people devoted to freedom and justice for all who might have denied a fair trial to nine men because confused by passion they identified the defense counsel with the defendants a right to counsel continues to evolve as does the law in general. What happens to one man at the hands of the law may happen later to another. Perhaps to you. You see the evening paper Grace did I see it. I've never been taken so aback. Imagine that poor man being put through all this and all the time he was perfectly honest no doubt
about it he's no more a spy than I am. Well all I can say is thank God for that old friend of yours. I think you ought to know that. Yes that man is no friend of mine. Yes and No. It's just my lawyer. To every man his due is produced by radio station WAGA of the University of Wisconsin under a grant from the National Educational Television Radio Center and distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters. Script by Milburn and Elizabeth Carlson Technical Advisor David film and music by Don vaguely. Production by Carl Schmidt. This is the end of the E.B. Radio Network.
To every man his due
Counsel for the defense
Producing Organization
National Association of Educational Broadcasters
WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
Counsel for the Defense: Right to Counsel
Series Description
Dramatic-narrative series on principles of justice under the American system of law, particularly the rights of defendants.
Broadcast Date
Law Enforcement and Crime
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Advisor: Fellman, David, 1907-2003
Music Director: Voegeli, Don
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Producing Organization: WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
Production Manager: Schmidt, Karl
Writer: Carlson, Elizabeth
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 62-17-10 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:16
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Chicago: “To every man his due; Counsel for the defense,” 1962-05-09, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 20, 2024,
MLA: “To every man his due; Counsel for the defense.” 1962-05-09. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 20, 2024. <>.
APA: To every man his due; Counsel for the defense. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from