FEBRUARY 24, 1897
JUST AS EXPECTED
The Lawrence County Grand Jury Refuses to Indict the Ballot Thieves
The Lawrence County Grand Jury, two thirds of the members of whom were Republicans, refused to indict any one connected with the theft of the official ballots just prior to the recent election. Their action, however, is no surprise to those familiar with the inside workings of the jury.
In speaking of the matter the Lawrenceville News says: The Grand Jury, which adjourned last week. failed to discover who stole the ballots at the last election. It is hinted strongly, by a great man, that they didn't care to find out who the thieves were, and that the jury was "loaded" in their behalf.
That the ballots were stolen is an admitted fact, and that both sides of the case was heard in the Grand Jury room. The Grand Jury knew the ballots were stolen either by Democrats or Republicans. If the Democrats were guilty there were enough Republicans on the jury to indict them. That they were not guilty, was shown by the fact that they returned no indictment.
From the fact that citizens were bulldozed by certain officials tends to show the Republicans were guilty. The eyes of all honest men in the State of Illinois, irrespective of party, were looking on the Lawrence County Grand Jury. It failed to do its duty and will pass into history as the most outrageous occurrence that ever blacked the page in the history of grand old Lawrence county.
Not only members of the Grand Jury, but both officials concerned in this deal, instead of now drawing a salary from the state they should be serving the State without salary. This has been the most infamous term of the court ever held in Lawrence or any other county. The decent citizens of the county should rise up in arms against such outrageous proceedings. There will be another Grand Jury and the parties who committed deliberate perjury will have other crimes to answer for besides stealing ballots. No change of venue will be allowed, but they will be tried by the people they deliberately lied."
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