The Age (54)
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His Honour , in summing up, said that two or three men made preparation with malice aforethought to murder a man, even if two out of three did not take part in the murder, all were principles in the main degree and equally guilty of the crime. They aided and abetted and were as guilty as the man who committed the crime. The fact that the police party were in plain clothes had nothing whatsoever to do with this case. The murdered men might be regarded as ordinary persons travelling through the country and they might ask themselves what right had any four men to stop them or ask them to surrender or put up their hands. These men were charged with the discharge of a very responsible and dangerous duty; they were executive officers of the law in addition to being ordinary constables and no person had a right to stop or question them. The counsel for the defence has also told the jury to receive the evidence of M’Intyre with very great caution but he would go further, and … that the jury would receive and weigh all evidence with caution. It was not necessary to have M’Intyre’s evidence corroborated, and he asked the jury to note the behaviour of M’Intye in the witness box, and say whether his conduct was that of a man who wanted to deceive. It was not necessary for them to go through the evidence, as it was so fresh in the memory of the jury. They were not to suppose that the prisoner was on his trial for the murder of Kennedy and Scanlan. The charge against him was the murder of Lonigan, and the object of admitting the whole of the evidence subsequent to the shooting of Lonigan was to give the jury every opportunity to judge the conduct of the prisoner and his intentions during that particular day. With regard to another part of the case - the confessions made by the prisoner at various times - they had not alone to consider the confessions themselves, but also the circumstances under which they were made. They were not made under compulsion, but at a time when the prisoner was at liberty, and if he made these confessions in a spirit of vain glory, or with the desire of screening his companions, he had to accept the full responsibility. Counsel for the defence said that the prisoner’s mouth was closed, and that if it was not closed he could tell a different story to the one told by M’Intyre. But the fact was that the prisoner’s mouth was not closed. That he could not give sworn testimony was true, but he could have made a statement which, if consistent with his conduct for the last eighteen months, would have entitled to every consideration; but the prisoner had not done so. As to whether the prisoner shot Lonigan or not, that was an immaterial point. The prisoner was engaged with others in an illegal act; he had pointed a gun at M’Intyre’s breast, and that circumstances was sufficient to establish his guilt. The jury would, however, have to regard the evidence as a whole, and accordingly, say whether murder had been committed. It could not be manslaughter. The verdict of the jury must either be guilty of murder or an acquittal.
The jury retired from court at ten minutes past five in the afternoon, and after half an hour’s absence, returned with a verdict of guilty.
Upon the judge’s associate asking the prisoner whether he had anything to say why sentence should not be passed upon him.
[[../../people/peK/KellyNedK.html|Kelly]] said: Well, it is rather late for me to speak now. I tried to do so this morning, but I thought afterwards that I had better not. No one understands my case as I do, and I almost wish now that I had spoken; not that I fear death. On the evidence that has been given, no doubt, the jury or any other jury could not give any other verdict. But it is on account of the witnesses, and with their evidence, no different verdict could be given. No one knows anything about my case but myself. Mr Bindon knows nothing about it at all, and Mr Gaunson knows nothing, though they have tried to do their best for me. I’m sorry I did not ask my counsel to sit down, and examine the witnesses myself. I could have made things look different, I’m sure. No one understands my case. (JJK)
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