Excerpt from Argument of William H. Seward: In Defence of William Freeman, on His Trial for Murder, at Auburn
I am arraigned before you for undue manifestations of zeal and excite. Ment. My answer to all such charges shall be brief. When this cause shall have been committed t... o you, I shall be happy indeed if it shall ap pear that my only error has been, that I have felt too much, thought too intensely, or acted too faithfully.
If my error would thus be criminal, how great would yours be if you should render an unjust verdict Only four months have elapsed since an outraged People, distrustful of judicial redress, doomed the prisoner to immediate death. Some of you have confessed that you approved that lawless sentence. All men now rejoice that the prisoner was saved for this solemn trial. But this trial would be as criminal as that precipi tate sentence, if through any wilful fault or prejudice of yours, it should prove but a mockery of justice. If any prejudice of witnesses, or the imagination of Counsel, or any ill-timed jest shall at any time have di.
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