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Sacco and Vanzetti
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Anarchist
    Nicola Sacco (April 22, 1891-August 23, 1927)
    Bartolomeo Vanzetti (June 11, 1888-August 23, 1927)
    Italian immigrants
    Accused of two murders and a robbery of $15,776 occurring on April 15, 1920
    Both claimed innocence to the murder and robbery charges
    Arrested for carrying guns (May 5, 1920)
    Found guilty of murder and robbery (July 14, 1921)
    Sentenced to death (April 9, 1927)
    Executed by the state of Massachusetts (August 23, 1927)
    They were anarchists involved in labor strikes, political agitation and antiwar propaganda.
    They lied to police about carrying guns, which led to their arrest, and ultimately, murder and robbery charges.
    Although each had an alibi for the night in question, their alibis only spoke Italian, which hurt their case.
    Their lawyer started the trend of using the mass media to draw attention to court cases.
    Their militancy and acceptance of revolutionary violence caused the state to throw the book at them, despite a lack of evidence.
    Their trial raised questions worldwide about American democracy.
    Neither man had a criminal record prior to May 5, 1920.
    Some view them as victims of the 'Red Scare' that occurred between 1919-20.
    Although evidence suggested perjury by prosecution witnesses, illegal police activity and a confession by a member of the Morelli Gang to the murders and robbery, their conviction and death sentences were never overturned.
    They became worldwide symbols of social justice and their case sparked international protests.

Credit: D


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