On April 15, 1920, a robbery and double murder in South
Braintree, Massachusetts, led to the arrest of two Italian anarchists, Nicola
Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti. They were tried and convicted at Dedham Superior
Court in 1921. No one could have foreseen that this local criminal case would
become a global affair over the seven years the defendants were held in custody
until their execution in 1927. The prosecution was fueled by the Red Scare, and
the xenophobia then rampant in Massachusetts and the nation.
The execution of the two defendants, despite substantial evidence that they
did not receive a fair trial, exposed structural flaws in our criminal justice
system. The widely held belief that a grave injustice had occurred inspired
painters, musicians, sculptors and writers from around the world to create
enduring works of art in memory of Sacco and Vanzetti.
Peter W. Agnes Jr., who retired last year after a nearly
30-year career as a trial and appellate judge, will offer a multimedia-based
review and assessment of the case and its continuing impact on
society. A question-and-answer session will follow the panel presentation.
This session will be hosted using Zoom. Registration is required
by 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 29, to participate in this program.
After you register with the MBA, please look for an email from MassBar
Education with the Webinar ID and Password. The email will be sent
before the program on April 29.