When Lincoln Famously Used the Almanac
Hi James, Here’s some information and references if it helps:
“Circuit Court Transcript, 15 April 1858, People v. Armstrong, case file; Order, 7 May 1858, People v. Armstrong, Circuit Court Record C, 174, both in Cass County Circuit Court, Cass County Courthouse, Virginia, IL; William E. Barton, The Life of Abraham Lincoln, 2 vols., (Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill, 1925), 1:310-318.”
I have seen this event dipicted in the movie, "The Young Mr. Lincoln" where Henry Ford played the part of Mr. Lincoln. In this portrayal, the mother of the accused did indeed witness the murder but could not tell which of her sons was guilty and would not testify either way. Mr. Lincoln was puzzled by Mr. J.C. Cass, the prosecution's lead witness's name in the movie, who had testified he saw the accused kill the decedent, his supposedly best friend from the distince because the night was "moon bright". Upon the final day of the trial Mr. Lincoln called Mr. Cass back to the stand for reexamination. He asked him why he lied about his name. Mr. Cass said he had not lied. "Oh yes you did Mr. Cass." Lincoln said. "You only gave us your initials, was it because you might think we thought your name was Jack-Ass that you didn't tell us your name was Jack Cass?" "I'd would venture to say anybody who would lie about their name would lie about just about anything. Just like you lied about seeing this boy kill your best friend." And you know the rest of the story...
Great movie on honest abe, a great educational piece of film that could be used in any educational setting
good retelling of the story from Hollywoods point of view....with the exception of the "Jack Cass" statement...this was mentioned earlier in the movie and never brought up in the end of that movie...just watched it by the way....
Doesn't matter if he did it or not, Lincoln only had to prove reasonable doubt. That is what an attorney does and that is what Lincoln did. Look at the OJ trial.
You are absolutely right. When I served on a jury, the judge instructed us that it is the prosecutions job to prove that a crime was committed. It is not the responsibility of the defender to prove innocence. With my case, we all knew the defendant was most likely guilty, but the prosecution completely failed to prove that a crime had been committed so we had to find the person not guilty.