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The Green Bag

In fact, the court could have no choice in the matter of a jury, and in this case the court had no idea as to who would compose the jury, and had no part in its deliberations or conclusions. The court, Mr. Green, contented itself simply and solely with the law, and I hope you and your family, Mr. Green, have observed that the court kept strictly within its own proper sphere." The judge glanced around and noticed that he had not yet given offense to the "Ridge," and proceeded: "You no doubt observed, Mr. Green, that the jury — not the court, mind — returned a verdict. That verdict was — ah — was somewhat prejudicial to your interests, Mr. Green. It was, in fact, against you, Mr. Green. In fact, Mr. Green, the jury found you guilty of — of murder, Mr. Green." Again the Judge glanced around the room. This time the "Ridge" was frowning, and the Judge added hastily: "You understand, Mr. Green, that it was the jury, as I said before, and not the court, that returned that verdict." Then the Judge hesitated for some time. The prosecuting attorney hinted that sentence must be pronounced. "Ah, yes," continued the Judge. "You see, Mr. Green, the law makes it obli gatory upon the court — and I wish you and your family to remember that the court did not make the law — to pro nounce sentence upon you, without regard to what the feelings of the court may be. The sentence, Mr. Green, which the law provides — and with which the court had no part in the mak ing — is that you — in fact, Mr. Green, the law says, as you are no doubt aware, that you must — must — hang. Now, Mr. Green, the court desires to make this ceremony as comfortable and con venient for you as possible, and the court would like to know whether you have

any preference as to the time. -What day, Mr. Green, would you prefer?" "Friday is as good as any day," an swered Green, stolidly. "Ah, very good; it shall be as you desire, Mr. Greeen; and the court fixes Friday." He bowed to Green and smiled at the "Ridge." The attorney said the exact Friday must be riamed. "Oh, yes," answered the Judge. "Mr. Green, the law says that the date, which means the day of the month as well as the day of the week, must be appointed. Now, Mr. Green, what day of the month do you think would best meet your con venience? There are five Fridays in the next month — the 2d, the 9th, the 16th, the 23d and the 30th!" "The last one's good enough for me," said Green. "Very well, very well, Mr. Green. We will say Friday, the 30th. That will be the date, Mr. Green, if agreeable to you. I hope you and your family will observe that it is the law and not the court that specifies that these exercises must occur." "There is a form prescribed by the statutes," insisted the attorney, "that must be complied with in pronouncing a sentence, and the prisoner must stand while it is delivered." Green had been sitting sullenly in front of the judge. "Ah, yes," said the Judge, "I believe there is. A mere formality. Now, Mr. Green, if you will rise, the court will read to you the form from the statute which the law says must be used in such cases as these. 'It is the sentence of the court,' that is the wording of the law, Mr. Green, 'that you, William Green, shall be taken from this place of confine ment, and on Friday the 30th day of June, you shall be taken thence to a place prepared and hanged by the neck' — the words of the law, Mr. Green —