Hellraisers Journal: Ida Crouch-Hazlett Reports from Rathdrum, Idaho: Jury Selection Completed in Adams Trial

There are no limits to which
powers of privilege will not go
to keep the workers in slavery.
-Mother Jones

Hellraisers Journal, Sunday November 10, 1907
Rathdrum, Idaho – Jury Will Decide Life or Death for Adams

With one jury already unable to decide the guilt or innocence of Steve Adams, Clarence Darrow is once again front and center of this, the second battle, in the fight to save the man’s life. Ida Crouch-Hazlett is also on scene where she is the sole member of the Socialist press reporting on the progress of the trial.

From the Socialist Montana News of November 7, 1907:

Another Battle in the Class Struggle
Begins at Rathdrum

Special Correspondence.

Rathdrum, Ida., Nov. 5.

Ida Crouch-Hazlett, Socialist, Montana News, Aug 3, 1904

The special venire of 80 men summoned for the Adams trial was exhausted yesterday afternoon, and the judge ordered a second venire of 20 men, which the sheriff engaged to deliver in court this afternoon at 2 o’clock. There are but three peremptories that can be used, one for the state and two for the defense. A number will undoubtedly disqualify as opposed to capital punishment, and still others for prejudice, but even taking this into consideration it was thought that 20 men would be ample from which to complete the jury. The opposition to returning a verdict of guilty where the punishment is death, is more marked in this case than in ordinary ones because of the circumstantial evidence feature in the case. Many jurors lay especial stress on this and say that nothing but direct evidence would induce them to return a verdict that would lead to death penalty.

Opinions Formed.

A great number have been dismissed because of opinions already formed and the admission of prejudice. The venire makes a total of 122 men called on this case. The forming of the jury has been almost as difficult as at Boise. The questions asked are about the same as those at Boise on the part of the defense. Knight makes himself ridiculous by asking local questions that have no bearing on the case whatever, and only show that he thinks he is bound to be suspicious and vents his suspicions in the most foolish and irrelevant ways.

Darrow Shows Ability.

Darrow is evidencing much more mastery in this case than he was able to bring to the front at Boise, and he has done some particularly clever work in a number of instances with jury men. This was particularly noticeable in the case of S. Young, a hotel keeper from Post Falls. This man had acted in the capacity of a minister, was an Englishman, a smooth talker, and gave most quiet, guarded and unobjectionable answers to all questions. After most persistent and penetrating questioning that failed to reveal any attitude of mind that was objectionable, Mr. Darrow turned around and said the man was a puzzle. He asked all interested in the defense what they thought about him. Adams didn’t like the man, and Darrow turned around and went at his questioning in a different manner this time, showing open opposition to the juror. The plan worked to a nicety, and in a few moments Darrow drew from the man that he thought Steve guilty. It was an admirable piece of tactical work.

Object to Detective Charge.

Knight kept up his most obnoxious method of speaking of M. Stone of Missoula as a detective employed by the Federation while pretending to be working for a nursery. Mr. Darrow arose and strenuously objected to the jurors being asked any such thing as the man was neither a detective nor an employee of the Federation. Knight asserted that he could prove his point. Darrow challenging him to do so. Knight asked if Darrow would deny that they were employing detectives. Darrow said he would most emphatically and that such a statement was an absolute untruth. A wordy war ensued and the judge instructed Mr. Knight not to speak of Stone as a detective any more unless it were proven in court.

Outside Work.

James Hawley, the prosecutor in the Haywood case, has been in town considerably, but appears in court but little. He is rounding up the case on the outside, bringing all the legal experience to bear of which the mine owners’ association has availed itself in the past in connection with jurors, witnesses and all that. In Boise these were always brought to Hawley’s office, and here he is still employing his marked talents i n that direction. He is also making arrangements for the bringing of Orchard here as a witness. Truthful Harry is having a good time riding around over the country, seeing the sights, motoring in fine automobiles and hobnobbing with the aristocracy of the mine owners’ association.

During one of the examinations Mr. Knight brought up something about Gov. Gooding speaking here.

“Oh,” said Darrow, “I thought Mrs. Hazlett was the only one that ever made political speeches here.”

As an instance of what makes a good qualification for a juror under a capitalist government, a man by the name of S. L. Hyatt, was undergoing examination. He was a farmer, showed that he was poor, but he had an exceptionally bright and true cast of mind. His answers showed a desire for fairness. But he said he thought Gov. Gooding had taken undue liberties in the case. Also said he would have to have strong evidence that the accused was guilty in order to vote for conviction. He endured all the questioning finely, showing his absolute fairness and desire to see justice prevail. But he was dismissed for bias although his every answer showed that that was just what he didn’t have. A man’s integrity disqualifies him as a juror, or rather to administer the law under a system of society where the laws are all based on the fundamental injustice of robbing labor of its own for the sake of a ruling class of parasites.

Organization the Bulwark of Capitalism.

True to the historical function of the capitalist system, the organization of society into systematic methods of work, a remarkable familiarity is evidenced on both sides with the entire frame up of the case. This is particularly noticeable in connection with the prosecution in this trial. A visiting attorney said he had never seen a case where the forces were so well organized. This work had been so thoroughly done by the defense in Ada and Canyon counties that it nonplused those on the state’s side of the case. And it was preeminently the work of socialists. The defense attorney have said that at first it was almost impossible to get anyone to attempt this work, the prejudice was so great against the Federation men. Union men would go out, come back discouraged and throw up the job. But when the socialists were put to work, it was a different proposition. They were undaunted and went after the greatest difficulties like a grayhound to the trail. As a result of this close work the prosecution has adopted these tactics in the present case to such good purpose that it was doubtful if a single socialist was going to be allowed to sit on the case. If their answers were true and satisfactory they would be fired by the prosecution on a peremptory.

The Spokesman-Review, true to its policy of vituperation and misrepresentation, has acted as though it were the same as putting thugs and criminals on the jury to have a socialist on. It sent to the Associated press through its reporter that it looked as though it would be impossible to evade one socialist on the jury. And this evasion would have been made ironclad if it had been in the power of the defense to do it.

Mr. Baur, an old and respected citizen in the county, who qualified on every point so there could be no possible objection, was dismissed solely because he was known to vote the socialist ticket. It may be said to the credit of Sheriff MacDonald that there seems to have been no discrimination in his venire so far as the politics of the men summonsed were concerned.

Class Struggle Invalued.

It is an interesting feature in connection with this crime that the large capitalist, as usual, seems to have been the original aggessor. Fred Tyler for whose alleged murder Adams is being tried, is said to have been a claim jumper hired by B. R. Lewis of the B. R. Lewis Lumber company to go up and jump Simpkins’ timber claim. So the case simmers down to the fight, of the big man of a big lumber company against a poor man on a timber claim, trying to get a foothold for himself on the earth. It is claimed by the prosecution that Simpkins in an effort to get back his property, in connection with Newt Glover and Alma Mason, hired Adams to get Tyler out of the way. Of course the contamination of the reputation of the working man is a small matter to the capitalist where property values are concerned.

Adams, a member of the Western Federation, was accused by Orchard of being one of the murderous and mysterious “inner circle” of that body, along with Simpkins. Hence the mine owners and the lumbermen were able to combine in a deal to get working men out of the way that interfered with their economic interests. And this is the situation behind the Adams case—that’s all; line up of the class fight in the mining and lumber industries combined. As always, the producer, the worker, the social slave is the underdog, and money government, machinery and prestige are against him.

If Adams is convicted Glover and Mason will be tried on the same charge.

Corrupting the Public Mind.

The judge has already charged those who have the care of the jury to cut all matter pertaining to the case out of whatever papers are given to the jurymen. On Sunday Mr. Darrow discovered that while the regular report of the case had been cut out of the copies of the Spokesman-Review that were handed the jurors, there still remained in the papers the outrageous statements credited to Emma Goldman in reference to the case. The article stated that Emma Goldman was touring England and her speeches had stated that the Western Federation had the only true method for working class emancipation and that was the method of dynamite. The article was probably a pure fake, Miss Goldman having never given utterance to any thing of the sort. But the Review publishes it in order to throw out these suggestions to poison the minds of the people against the Federation and its membership.

Knight Gets It Back.

An amusing incident took place during the examination of juryman Barta. Knight was asking him in regard to any conversation he may have had with Mr. Stone. Barta said he never saw the man till the day before when he stepped up to a group of summonsed jurors on the street and asked them to say when questioned by Knight regarding Mrs. Hazlett-Crouch that Stone told them to tell Knight that he was entirely mistaken in regard to that lady and her ideas on government. A burst of laughter ran through the courtroom and Knight appeared much discomfited, but he managed to stammer out sarcastically that he was much obliged to Mr. Stone for his opinion of him. Knight means all right. In fifteen years he’ll be a man.

Defense Satisfied and Ready for Trial.

During the latter part of the forming the jury the defense has shown that it was ready to go ahead at almost any time. It has passed up its last three peremptories and consulted several times with the attorneys for the state in order that the challenging might cease and the case go to trial without the excuse of summonsing an extra venire. But Knight didn’t want to lose a single chance, and kept up his challenges as long as they lasted. The fact of the matter was the defense had enticed him into a trap. He could either take the jury as it was, acceptable to the defense, or bring the expense upon the state, already staggering under the charge of fabulous expenditure, of the summons of a new venire. Knight looked more serious than he has at any time during the trial he was actually pale—; but he took the safe side for him-used caution no matter what the expense—and the new venire of 20 was summoned.

Later—At 3:15 this afternoon the jury was sworn. Attorney Hansen made the opening statement in which he briefly rehearsed the circumstances. He stated that the proof will rest largely on Adams’ confession.

To-morrow the trial begins.

Ida Crouch-Hazlett.

[Photograph added.]


Montana News
(Helena, Montana)
-Nov 7, 1907

Ida Crouch-Hazlett, Socialist, Montana News, Aug 3, 1904

See also:

Tag: Montana News

Transcript of 2nd Murder Trial of Steve Adams:
(Scroll down to link.)


Working Men Unite – Joe Glazer
Lyrics by E. S. Nelson (scroll down)