Felix Morrow

The Defense Reviews Its Case

(30 November 1941)

Source: The Militant, Vol. V No. 49, 6 December 1941, p. 2.
Transcription/HTML Markup: Einde O’Callaghan.
Copyleft: Felix Morrow Internet Archive (www.marxists.org) 2019. Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0.

MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 30. – As we sit here, waiting for the jury to come in with its verdict – I am writing at 8:30 p.m., 32 and a half hours after the jury was sent out – it is in order to review the last part of the trial.

Readers of The Militant may have been puzzled, last week, to read, in one and the same issue, the story of the testimony of the first defense witness, James P. Cannon, and a bulletin announcing that the defense had closed its case. Puzzling, perhaps, especially in view of the fact that for weeks The Militant had been filled with a day-to-day ac count of the prosecution’s lengthy presentation of its case.

The explanation is simple. The prosecution had taken three full weeks for its side – fifteen court days. The defense then took only four court days to present its side, that is, just a little more than one-fourth of the time taken by the prosecution.

Of those four days, which began Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 18. the first defense witness, Jim Cannon, was on the witness stand, including cross-examination, for just a little less than two whole days. His testimony is being published verbatim, beginning with last week’s issue of The Militant.

Cannon was on the stand Tuesday afternoon, all day Wednesday, and (Thursday was the Thanksgiving holiday) part of Friday morning.

He was followed to the stand by six Minneapolis truck drivers who had been members of the Union Defense Guard here in 1938 and 1939. The most solid type of workers, they made a striking contrast to the scum used by the government as witnesses. The six, testifying to the formation of the Union Defense Guard to meet the Silver Shirt danger, and the fact that the guard ceased functioning when the fascist danger died down, effectively established that the guard was formed for that purpose and no other. This punctured the prosecution contention that the guard had been designed to overthrow the government.

The truck drivers were followed to the stand by two University of Minnesota students, who testified on what they had heard defendant Grace Carlson say in a speech at the University. Their testimony refuted the contention of a government witness that Grace Carlson had advocated the use of force and violence in that speech.

In the afternoon defendant V.R. Dunne, a Local 544-CIO organizer and leading member of the SWP, took the stand. He traced the story of the rise and growth of Local 544, defending the glorious record of that famous union against the slanders and innuendos of the prosecution. He was still on the stand when Friday’s court session ended.

[There follows a day-by-day account of the proceedings, which is not included here. This material can be found in this PDF of the issue on page 2.]


Last updated on: 26 March 2019