New Evidence in the Case of Sacco and Vanzetti


Over six decades after the polemical Sacco and Vanzetti case, in which the two anarchist Italian immigrants were convicted of first-degree murder and executed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Young and Kaiser revisit the case’s evidence as well as the key actors who determined its outcome. The authors situate their meticulous reexamination of the court evidence and prosecuting and defense arguments within the long-standing dispute between political leftists and conservatives regarding the integrity of the conviction, edifying the left’s accusations of anti-Italianism and anti-anarchism. Their analysis magnifies both the likelihood of contrived evidence and the fallibility of our criminal justice system’s impartiality, pointing to important questions concerning the nature of a fair trial and the influence of prejudice and politics in juridical processes. As such, Postmortem functions as a detailed introduction to the infamous 1921 Sacco and Vanzetti trial as well as a meditation on enduring dilemmas of the American judicial branch.

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