This is a powerpoint presentation of Trial Lawyer Clarence Darrow and his top cases. It is followed by a 20 point multiple choice test and a 35 card set of Flash Cards. These Flash Cards can be used for review, testing or to facilitate class discussion. An answer key is included.
---I am a retired lawyer, instructor and textbook writer.
~Clarence Darrow was born in Kinsman, Ohio, on April 18, 1857. Darrow attended Allegheny College and the University of Michigan Law School, but did not graduate from either. Darrow started to study the law on his own, while he taught in a public school.
~He decided that it would be cost effective to work and study in an actual law office. When he felt that he was ready, he took the Ohio Bar exam and passed.He was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1878. This process of studying on your own and then taking the Bar Exam without graduating from law school is no longer allowed.
~ Darrow defended Prendergast using the insanity defense, as there was no other basis of defense. Plus the man was mentally unbalanced. That defense was even less popular in 1894 than it is today. Darrow lost the case and Prendergast was executed that same year. The death penalty was used swiftly back then, unlike today. This was Darrow’s only case which resulted in an execution.
~ Darrow’s reversal was based on the mother’s not even having been in the same room as her son when he shot the deputy. She was in another section of the house. To make her an accomplice, she had to be closer to the crime than this or to have told the boy to do it. The boy said his mother had told him nothing. It was his own idea.
~"I want to say to you gentlemen, Bill Haywood can't die unless you kill him. You must tie the rope. You twelve men of Idaho, the burden will be on you. If at the behest of this mob you should kill Bill Haywood, he is mortal, he will die, but I want to say that a million men will grab up the banner of labor at the open grave where Haywood lays it down, and in spite of prisons or scaffolds or fire, in spite of prosecution or jury, or courts, these men of willing hands will carry it on to victory in the end." Closing Argument Bill Haywood trial. Acquitted.
~In 1925, 43 years before the Fair Housing Laws would go into effect, a white mob in Detroit attacked a black family in the home they bought in their white neighborhood. Two white men were shot and one died as a result. Eleven blacks in the house were charged with murder. The NAACP lawyers and Clarence Darrow handled the defense. Four of them were brought to trial: Dr. Ossian Sweet and three members of his family. The jury was entirely white. Acquittal.
~Darrow: "You have given considerable study to the Bible, haven't you, Mr. Bryan?"
Bryan: "Yes, sir; I have tried to.... But, of course, I have studied it more as I have become older than when I was a boy."
Darrow: "Do you claim then that everything in the Bible should be literally interpreted?"
Bryan: "I believe that everything in the Bible should be accepted as it is given there; some of the Bible is given illustratively. For instance: 'Ye are the salt of the earth.' I would not insist that man was actually salt, or that he had flesh of salt, but it is used in the sense of salt as saving God's people.” SCOPES MONKEY TRIAL