Presumed guilty… Lizzie given the ax by some before the end of the trial…

April 25, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Blog-4-25-2016-Lizzie-BordenIt can be interesting to read headlines in newspapers of past centuries and note quickly how politically incorrect publishers were, and how there was little concern to presume a defendant guilty in the press before a trial even began.

The renowned case of Lizzie Borden, accused of murdering her parents, found coverage in The Memphis Appeal-Avalanche” issue of August 30, 1892. Even during the inquest the newspaper was quick to include column heads, almost poetically presented: “About Miss Lizzie Borden” “Nearer and Nearer Looms the Gallows-Tree Before Her” “Clearer and Clearer It Appears She’s a Murderess” and more (see). In today’s world publishers are quick to use words such as “alleged”, or “accused of” which make no inference of guilt of innocence. Not so in the 19th century.