Monday, March 23, 2015
The Song remains The Same . . .
Ann Bilansky was killed on this day in 1860 by Minnesota.
The Media condemned her in this to say, "Bad enough to be a harlot and bold enough to be a murderer." Hangings must sell papers.
The prosecutor didn't figure she had a fair trial. It didn't matter after the conviction what he thought. The System smelled blood.
The public was skittish about the criminal justice and thus Governor Ramsey wanted a hanging.
In the days before her death, petitioners urging that Ramsey commute her sentence included the prosecutor, Isaac Heard, who said he had "grave and serious doubts'' about whether Bilansky had a fair trial, and Supreme Court Justice Charles E. Flandreau, who participated in the opinion denying her a new trial. Flandreau wrote that while he supported the death penalty, "it rather shocks my private sense of humanity to commence by inflicting the extreme penalty on a woman.''
In an excellent article on the case in Minnesota History magazine, author Matthew Cecil noted that Gov. Ramsey must have heard arguments for Bilansky's guilt from his brother, Justus, who had been on the jury and who was in business with the governor. Cecil also notes that commuting the sentence would be "likely to anger a public skittish about criminal justice.''
This is what the lady said before she was hung . . . “I die without having had any mercy shown me, or justice. I die for the good of my soul, and not for murder. . . . Your courts of justice are not courts of justice—but I will yet get justice in Heaven.” . . . and the song remain the same. Just think, some of you want Jodi Arias to be put to death by this system of justice.