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Word Count: 530
Sacco and Vanzetti Two Italian anarchists made headlines when they committed a cold-blooded murder Before it was over it would develop into a worldwide controversy On April 15 1920 a paymaster and guard of a shoe factory in South Braintree Massachusetts were shot and killed and the payroll of over 15000 was stolen Three weeks later the police arrested Nicola Sacco a shoemaker and Bartholomeo Vanzetti a fish salesman and charged them with the crime The case came up for trial on May 31 1921 At first this murder and robbery generated only local interest but soon the case attracted wider attention due to the politics of the accused murderers Sacco and Vanzetti were immigrants but politically they were anarchists who had participated in armed labor strikes They were also pacifists who had evaded the draft in 1917 by going to Mexico In presenting his case the prosecuting attorney Fred Moore a prominent socialist lawyer decided to emphasize their political beliefs and actions By doing this he hoped to show the prosecutors hidden motives against the Italian anarchist movement Moores dramatic openly political defense along with public meetings he organized turned international attention to the case Another reason that this trial became so big was that it coincided with the communist Red Scare in America In comments made outside the court while the trial was still going on the judge expressed his hatred of radicals In July of 1921 Sacco and Vanzetti were found guilty The verdict was disputed by the defense lawyers and other people who felt that the men had not been given a fair trial The actual evidence was circumstantial and inconclusive The judge prosecuting attorney and jury seemed to have been more influenced by their dislike for immigrants radicals and pacifists then by the facts of the case In 1925 a convicted murderer sentenced to death Celestino Madeiros confessed that he had participated in the crime at South Braintree
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