This was one of the first cases tried in the new Cook County criminal court building at 26th and California Street. The victim, a bank security guard, and all of the defendants were African Americans. The crime, a killing during the robbery of the Franklin Trust and Savings Bank, occurred in the south side of Chicago. The defense and the prosecutors operated at a high level of professional competence, within the standards of the day. Three of the defendants in this case were sentenced to death and executed. The case offers a window into the practice of law in Chicago in 1929.
View video of Professor Thomas Geraghty, author of Cook County Criminal Law Practice in 1929: A Community’s Response to Crime and a Notorious Trial.