Research Paper : Sacco-Vanzetti Case and the Gregg v Georgia Case

In United States of America, there are strict rules against killing people. Various rules have been set up containing death penalties regarding the issue. By reading by sources, I have concluded that the law making bodies of United States of America should be efficient enough to carry out proper and prompt data collection especially when an accused person is said to be sentenced with death penalty. Law making bodies of United States of America takes abrupt decisions against law breakers which include death penalties. It is a very huge step to be taken against an accused person who should involve prompt authentications apart from racialism, radicalism or socialism.

Previously two major cases are discussed such as Sacco-Vanzetti Case and the Gregg v Georgia Case. Both of them were important and highlighted murder cases. First, Sacco Vanzetti case involved the severe murder of two American men during an armed robbery in the city of Massachusetts, United States of America. This robbery took place in a shoe factory. After the murders, two men took the car to a garage with these two Italian men. According to the legal accusations made by police, the car was found to be involved in an armed robbery which formed the basis of allegation for this case. One of the two major issues rose in this case were radicalism which supports the need of change to be produced in society by revolutionary means. Other issue was patriotism which pointed towards the Italian men. Both these issues were raised by prosecution as well as the defense party. Their first appeal was rejected by the American Court. This case prolonged for more than six weeks in total. This case became a popular case in 1920s and was seen by many people around the globe. As a result of this case, both accuses people, Sacco and Vanzetti were sentenced to death on July 14’ 1921. It was also found that these two men, Bartolommeo Vanzetti and Nicola Sacco had no criminal records in their life histories. Research reveals that these two men conducted the robbery for collecting possible funds for acquiring the needs of several political campaigns. One of the main evidence given by the prosecution at the start of the trial was that these both men were carrying gun at the time of their arrest. Patriotism was involved in the case when these two men were found having no proper hold on English Language while being in America. It was clear from the fact, that both Sacco and Vanzetti misunderstood many questions lay during the trials. Both accused men gained national support and were portrayed as a powerful and authentic symbol of justice all around America (D’Attilio). Public greatly supported them because these two men were subjected to racial attacks by lawful forces of the country. These were Italian men who moved to America for political freedom. Besides that, they had families to take care of. Radical political values of accused men were also pointed out highly during the trials (Linder, 2001). They were accused of fleeing away from Mexico during the World War which made them seem unpatriotic Italian men. There were many important researches laid after the death penalties revealing different important facts regarding these two lawful deaths. Many physical evidences gained by postmortem reports reveal that one of the two men, Vanzetti was innocent. This point greatly neglects the accusations made on them. Many people protested against unlawful decisions made against them due to improper demonstration of evidences important highlighted cities taking part in protesting includes Mexico City, London and Paris. In many of the court hearings, their nationality was subjected more than their crime. If we talk about the murder, postmortem reports show that one of the accused men, Vanzetti was not even involved in committing a murder but due to his lack of understanding of English Language he was unable to give proper answers in his defense. No vital steps were taken in the favor of these two men to uphold the case. Rapid and fast decisions of death penalty were taken against the men without hearing any appeals from the accused men. Courts had very little evidence against Vanzetti. Reports also reveal that the bullet that killed the victim came out of Sacco’s gun. This case is still regarded as the most repressing incident of American law history also known as Red Scare. As Vanzetti was found not to be guilty of this case, many steps could have been taken to save him from the death penalty. One of the major problems which lead him to death was his mixed and confusing answers due to lack of understanding of English Language. That case could have been revised to save the innocent man by giving him an ease by means of the language. They were considered to be unpatriotic people by the lawful forces in United States of America but they only move to America to gain political freedom. It was a critical case of two immigrants who were only idealistic about their ideas to move and work in a free state. This case led to a strict judicial oversight. Decisions made were highly incompatible with the higher authorities involved. Evidence laid should have been collected more carefully. It also came to a conclusion leaving a message for civil liberties to provide maximum protection to the outsiders. There are various short comings of this ancient case which can be lead as a message of safety measures to be taken in further cases. Setting examples of cases like this, Americans have set benchmarks against erosion of civil liberties by immigrants and actions taken by judicial system of the country. This case had handful of trials which were carried out with extreme passion and a series of controversies. Police and the lawful forces of America should have looked for deeper facts for sentencing these men to death rather than the facts that they were immigrants and political radicals. They should have considered their clean crime history and clear family backgrounds in relevance to such a case involving a major killing. These ethical issues directly points towards the flawed norms of American Law making departments. Death penalty is a very sensitive and brutal decision taken against any accused man for breaking a law so it the evidence collection should be made in a proper manner before jumping to the conclusion of hanging an individual to death. It is America’s most highlighted period of trial pointing towards false accusations like racism and socialism.


Another case is Greg v Georgia case which has some major resemblances with the previously discussed case, Sacco Vanzetti case. This case did not gain much popularity and public support lie Sacco and Vanzetti. The main culprit of this case was Troy Leon Gregg. The man was accused similarly with a murder charge and an armed robbery. This crime scene was conducted in 1976 in United States of America. There were no accessions of charges including not being an American national and radicalism in this case. The victim, Troy Leon Gregg was not satisfied by the decisions made by the jury against him so he made an appeal for himself in the American court. His appeal was of no use in the eyes of the law. Therefore, the man was hanged to death on July 2nd, 1976. Troy Leon Gregg also took his case to Supreme Court during his life marking his opinions against unfair decisions made against him. Lawfully, Troy Gregg took the support of Amendments eighth and fourteenth. His appeal having lawful supports was also rejected by the Supreme Court which led to his death penalty. It was later found that his case did not violate these lawful amendments in any possible way. According to the amendment, he portrayed himself to be treated brutally and violently by American law holders (Louisiana). On his claim against the court, it responded by telling that there is no gesture of politeness to be granted to a man who has committed a murder under lawful conditions. It was also made clear by the court that for such an unethical act, the only deserving punishment is death penalty. Killing someone and taking someone’s life is considered as the most extreme of all crimes committed around the globe, so the only possible step to be taken against the accused is the hang him to death ion rapid basis. The jury did not want to waste their time collecting useless proclamations so they directly sentenced Troy Leon Gregg to death. Death penalty is included in constitutional laws of United States of America. It has been calculated that 32 states of America are currently having statues of  death penalty so it is made clear that in this case no breaking of eighth and fourteen amendments was made lawfully. The case was wholly analyzed in a respectful manner and was not given much public importance. It was proven that the crime was conducted by Troy Leon Gregg so he was sentenced to death by American Court.

As compared to the Sacco Vanzetti case, Troy Leon Gregg was an American National but the jury did not look on to his present lawful circumstances as well as his clear criminal records. He was directly sentenced to death by the jury. They presented a strong reason for their decision that one just cannot deny the fact that the murder was committed. Secondly, the jury did not had any source of reasonable doubt on their decisions which made them make abrupt and fast decisions against the man. According to the provided sources, in this case Troy Leon Gregg started his journey towards Atlanta with two men in their car. When the car of those two men broke down, they decided to rent a car for their further expedition. Many of the eye witnesses reveal that at this point, Gregg showed major interest in robbing the men. Within these intentions, Gregg murdered the following two men. When the lawful trials began against Troy Leon Gregg, he stated vigorously that he used his equipment for his self-defense only without any possible intentions of hurting his fellow beings. He also added that the two men actually tried to rob him and he killed them in his own defense. By his statements, the case automatically got divided in two parts such as the guilt stage and the sentence stage. The second stage, such as sentence stage was not carried out for a long period of time due to major lack of evidence. It was merely concluded that Greg married the two men to rob their car, money and other valuable items which were present as their personal possessions at the crime scene. This case did not have any public support like Sacco Vanzetti case. This case was also proved as a major source of remembrance for American Law makers who have not progressed in slowing down the increasing number of crimes. This case was found to be violating the Eight and Fourteenth Amendments of the US Justice System. This mentioned fact also symbolizes the abrupt and wrongful decision making court juries present in United States of America. Death penalty is a serious decision taken against an accused person which is bound to be supported with great zeal of evidences against concerned parties of the case on lawful basis. But according to the Legal Institution of Law making, it has been found that the punishment allotted to Troy Leon Gregg regarding his death penalty did not violated the eighth and fourteenth Amendment of law making (Stewart, 1992). Still, the death penalty laid in this case was mandatory without any provided option. In the constitution making of America, there is no mercy based clauses which could have beholden the case back then. Death is an extreme level of sanction which should be given to the killer abruptly and it is the most suitable conclusion to be drawn against the accused man. The previous news publishing the violation of California constitution against death penalty of Gregg was marked false on a serious note. The convicted man was also opposed as a threat to other men. Many other killing schemes for Troy Leon Gregg were rejected by the court such as lifetime imprisonment and poisoning the accused. Public did not protest in this case as they did during Sacco Vanzetti case because it was a clear accusing against a man who actually committed a murder.  There were many important cases in last five years like these two mentioned murder cases. One of the important murder case conducted was Case Anthony’s murder in which she murdered her own 2 year old daughter. It was also one of the most highlighted case in American law history in which the jury was left unconvinced that this mother could kill her own child. Many other cases like this were presented in front of the law makers.

In my opinion, taking account of the first case namely, Sacco & Vanzetti, more appropriate date collection could be done in order to get real evidence as these men gained much of the public support during the trials as mentioned in American history.  Death penalty is a vigorous and serious act to be taken against a person. Although there are many conspiracy theories found in cases by the accused and the opposing party, evidence should be analyzed carefully and each hearing should be conducted carefully before coming to a solution of killing the accused. In cases like Sacco and Vanzetti, many issues could have saved one of them being innocent of the crime. In the end, it can be stated that law making bodies of United States of America should revise their ethical standards. If someone comes up with lack of evidence regarding someone’s killing, proper evidence should be collected in order to hang him to death or to save him if he is innocent. It is also concluded that racial immigrations should not be seen through the eyes of doubt in such cases. Collection of evidence should be done without taking care of any theories of racism, radicalism, favoritism or socialism. Hard and fast decision making should also be avoided.

Concluding the issue, the law making bodies of the country should be more efficient in data collection when involved with cases like this. Racial theories for immigrants should not be involved while sentencing people to death. However, proper evidence should be collected keeping apart all the conspirator theories. On the other hand, appeals should be heard and considered by the accused before sentencing them with deaths.

 Works Cited

Linder, D. (2001). The Case of Sacco and Vanzetti. New York City. Web 6 Nov. 2015

Stewart, M. J. (1992). Gregg v. Georgia. Legal Information Institute. Web 6 Nov. 2015

D’Attilio, Robert, and Jane Manthorn, et alia. Sacco Vanzetti: Developments and Reconsiderations. Boston: Boston Public Library, 1979.

Louisiana, Roberts v. “Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology.” Capital Punishment: Gregg v. Georgia (1977).