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What was the Sacco-Vanzetti Case?

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02/01/2011

The Italian immigrants, Sacco and Vanzetti, were arrested for an armed robbery in South Braintree, Massachusetts, in which a guard and a paymaster were killed. They were promptly found guilty and sentenced to die in the electric chair.

The newly formed American Civil Liberties Union, Italian-American groups, and labor organizations publicized the fact that there was no hard evidence against the two and some of the evidence was invented by the prosecution. The Judge at their trial was openly prejudiced against the Italians and called them "damned dagos." Sacco and Vanzetti admitted to being radicals in their political beliefs but proclaimed their innocence of the crime. The case received world wide attention and even the Italian Dictator Mussolini expressed his belief that the guilty verdict was wrong. Regardless, Sacco and Vanzetti were executed in 1927.

Research later indicated that Sacco probably was guilty of the murders and probably had Vanzetti's help in the robbery. Unfortunately, at that time in American history, most Americans were anti-immigrant and glad to see anarchists and radicals punished, whether they were guilty or not.