on the photograph of Oscar Neebe to read the discussion in court regarding
the defense motion to dismiss charges against him (approximately 6,200 words).
On Saturday, July 31, the state briefly recalled Inspector John Bonfield as its last witness and then rested its case. Before calling any witnesses of its own, attorney Sigmund Zeisler asked Judge Gary to excuse the jury, with the intention of moving that the case against Oscar Neebe be dropped.
The defense, which repeatedly objected to prejudicial statements made by the judge, believed that their clients would be better served if the jury did not hear the discussion. As the transcript indicates, Gary refused to dismiss the jury and, in the jury's presence, explained why he felt there was insufficient reason to dismiss the charges.
One can sense the frustration of the defense, as well as the irritation of the judge and the attorneys on both sides, throughout this discussion. The defense's point—one argued by all four of the lawyers—is that there is not "a scintilla" of evidence against Neebe to connect him to the crime. When Gary and Grinnell disagree with this, the defense contends that Neebe's only link to the case is that he owned some stock in the Arbeiter-Zeitung. The defense attorneys further point out that the content of this newspaper was not fairly represented by the selection of inflammatory articles that the prosecution offered as evidence. In any case, they add, Neebe had nothing to do with these articles. His only "crime" was to attend a number of meetings.
"I say if Oscar Neebe is convicted in this case, he is convicted because he is a socialist, and for no other reason under Heaven," William Foster asserts. To which Gary answers, "I do not think I ought to interfere with the case at all. Whether he had anything to do with the dissemination of advice to commit murder is, I think, a debatable question which the jury ought to pass upon."