“For Law and Order”

Source Type: Newspaper
Publisher: The Times Gazette
Place of publication: Tuscaloosa
Date of publication: 12/16/1914 0:00
Source URL: View Source

FOR LAW AND ORDER. This paper desires to commend editorially the prompt step that Judge H. B. Foster of the County Court took in calling a special grand jury to pass on the case of John Hatcher charged with the crime of criminal assault on a white woman in the northeastern end of the county. Courts are created to enforce the law. If mobs should take the matter into their own hands it would not be long before we would return to the custom of the dark ages when might made right. Our county has been dis- graced by the perpetration of a hideous, revolting crime, and but for Judge Foster’s prompt action another crime, that of death by lynching, would perhaps, have been added to the one already committed. When Judges take the stand that Judge Foster has it insures us against mob violence. All the people want is prompt enforcement of the law. If this man is innocent of the crime charged to him he will be acquitted, if guilty he will be punished, not by Judge Lynch, but by the duly constituted agents of the people. This paper is glad that everyone is looking at the matter in such a judicial frame of mind. This writer has not heard of a single threat being made against the prisoner, which is remarkable when the enormity of the crime is taken into consideration. Of course, there is a deep feeling that he should get the hand of the law laid heavily on him if he is guilty but there has been no evidence of the people taking the law into their own hands. This paper desires to commend this spirit of abiding by the action of the courts. Therein lies our safety. Judge Foster real- ized the responsibility that rested on him and he did not take any chances on having the majesty of the law trailed in the dust by the people in the immediate neighborhood where the crime was committed, hence his calling the grand jury together to pass on the case away from the immediate scene of the outrage.