THE MOONEY CASE by Richard H. Frost


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The first fully documented study of the Mooney Case which was an international cause celebre for nearly a quarter of a century. Tom Mooney was sentenced to hang for the San Francisco Preparedness Day bombing of 1916 (in which ten people were killed), but at President Wilson's repeated urging, the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. Still radicals, unionists, and civil libertarians fought to free Mooney, charging that he had been convicted more for his political opinions than for the murder of which he was innocent. Mooney remained in San Quentin but there was ample evidence of perjury, suppression of evidence, and irregular circumstances of arrest. Frost, an associate Professor of History at Colgate University, has marshalled all the available materials including trial transcripts and excerpts from briefs (the case was carried to the Supreme Court). He covers political and class tensions in California, the press (Mooney was tried by the newspapers as well as the courts), the careers of Mooney and other defendants, the prosecution, the five governors who were involved, and the defense committee, and, finally the pardon in 1939--23 years after the bombing. The book is notable for the thorough treatment of the legal history of the case--from arrest, to testimony, to appeals. It is at once fascinating and academically proficient.

Pub Date: Oct. 29th, 1968
Publisher: Stanford Univ. Press