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An Indignation Meeting

was held in Farnam last Wednesday evening by the citizens of Farnam and vicinity. Notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather a large crowd was present. D. Hanna was elected chairman and S. F. Parker secretary. Several ringing speeches were made by prominent men of the vicinity which expressed the sentiment of the people. The following set of resolutions were adopted unanimously:

Whereas, on January 24, 1894, judgment was given against John B. Walker and sentence of death pronounced as penalty for the crime of murder, which he had committed on the person of George P. Stevens on May 11, 1893, and

Whereas, frequent examinations were made by experts, formally conducted before and by the judges of the supreme and lower courts in which all doubt concerning the sanity of J. B. Walker was legally dispelled, and

Whereas, such respites have been and were granted in the case in order to perfect the examination, as the most exorbitant demands of energetic counsel could ask for or expect, so that all doubt and uncertainty might be eliminated from the case, and

Whereas, the infliction of capital punishment for crimes of this nature in Dawson county has been so persistently ignored as to make the name of the punishment traditional, rather than an active measure of the law, and

Whereas, such perversion of the intent and meaning of the law is the most potent factor of that most odious crime known as “Lynch law” or in other words “justice illegally administered” therefore

Resolved, that in exercising the function of executive clemency in the case of J.B. Walker, thereby commuting his sentence of death by hanging to that of imprisonment for life in the penitentiary the governor of Nebraska, Silas A. Holcomb, has been guilty of willful error, either in allowing himself to be influenced by pleas of mercy where none should exist—by desire on his part to curry favor in order to obtain results favorable and important to his personal ambition—by a lack of consideration for the best interests of all those most immediately concerned, or, by a total disregard for the law of the land, an exponent of which he claims to be.

Resolved, that the citizens of Farnam and vicinity do hereby protest with heart and voice against the misuse (or abuse) of executive clemency in this case having immediately before us the power shown by it to weaken the confidence of the community as regards the administration of the law and the tendency to provoke overt acts of justice just outside the protecting arms of the law.

Resolved, that the active sympathy of the state officials for an insane man whose sanity had been established by tow or more intelligent juries, the peers, and county citizens of the party undergoing trial, is beyond our conception, or, understanding, and the sudden conversion to a condition of energetic sympathy and friendship of the swarms of influential men in Lexington, the capital of Dawson county, in past comprehension in view of their former indifference to and apparent ignorance of the man.

Resolved, that a copy of these resolutions be sent to the Omaha Bee, World-Herald, State Journal and county papers for publication.

Gothenburg Independent 11(46):1, Saturday, 7 March 1896

 



Published: 8/16/2022 - http://www.historicfarnam.us
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