The Haymarket Affair

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The Haymarket Affair

For many, America is not just the country they happen to live in but also it is a place of freedoms, liberties and independencies and even a refuge for some people. In 1886 though, a group of people attempted to share their opinion in Haymarket Square, Chicago, which led to a dangerous riot and a series of trials with convictions and executions. Throughout the affair, innocent lives were lost, people were wrongly accused, and the judicial system was revealed as flawed. Throughout the trial, Constitutional rights were overlooked in the name of prejudice and because of fear, just to please the public. The Haymarket Affair involved a violent riot caused by overbearing police officers; it also involved unfair trials
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At the close of trial proceedings, the judge informed the jury that they could find the eight accused to be guilty even if the crime was committed by someone who was not charged. He also said that it was not necessary for the state to know the identity of the bomber or to prove that the bomber had read any of the articles or poster of the charged anarchists. Though the judge, prosecutor, and jury can be considered misguided in their bias and actions of injustice, some of the witnesses against the accused are widely acknowledged as liars. In comparison to the eyewitnesses of the defendants, every part of their details went against those of the witnesses of the police.
Though the defendants faced prejudice and discrimination, they kept on with their cases and appeals until the verdicts were determined. The attorneys of the accused were Black and Swett. Along with the allegation that Grinnell’s witnesses were lying, the defending lawyers said that none of the eight had intended for any form violence and they even offered proof that some of the accused were not even near Haymarket Square on May 4th. Furthermore along with their apparent innocence, six of the eight were not present when the bomb went off, and the two that were there, Spies and Samuel Fielden were both in plain view of the crowd and police. Despite the logic of the defendant’s case, passion and prejudice led the jury to conclude that the bombing was a direct result of a deliberate conspiracy.
On August 20,
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