The New international. November I, I9. The Case of rama and Cheyney. the case of Louis Fraina and Edward Ralph Cheyney, arrested at a meeting of Conscientious (Isjectors, a jury in the United States District Court returned a verdict of. guilty on the indictment alleging conspiracy to aid, abet and induce men of military age to evade and violate the Draft Law.
Tha government had indicted Fraini. and Cheyney under the Draft Law and under the criminal section of the Espionage Act. Each indictment. carried two. counts: the Draft hw indictment alleged (l) 1, that the defendants had conspired to themselves. violate draft law by agreeing to refu military servicez and.(2) that they had conspired to aid. induce and abet others to violate and. WARN.
JT ipeople. Z evade the law. The. section of the Espionage Act charged. I) an actual attempt to create mutiny.
indictment under the criminal iniubordination and the refusal of duty. in the army and navy of the United States; and (2) a conipiracy, to commit the same offense.
The prosecution introduced. evidence the speech made by Cheyney as fchairman of the meeting, and the speech of Fraina as well as his leaflet on Conscientious (Liectorsf lThe pas. sages in Fraina speech considered most objectionable by Assistant United States District Attorney Harold Content. were as follows. This country is blessed from the capitalist stanfiosnt, and cursed from. the working class standpoint. by a president peculiarly adept in the coining. of phrases. In the making of symbols. which in themselves mean nothing in the struggle for democracy, but which are so glittering that they exert a poisonoua influence on the minds of the They are not going to exempt the. Conscientious (Injector. They arefgoing. to penalize us. They are going to com pel us, if they can cornpel us. But say right now that they cannot con. script the Conscientious (Injector. They. cannot conscript the Conscientious Gs jectors. because we have made up our ninth and we are going to stick. The passages from Fraina leaflet considered most objectionable are as follows. The Conscientious (Ejector is deirteImined, come what may, to rufuse all forms of military service. no He is equally determined to refuse alternative, or non combatant service. TAgainst all forms of military ser vice. because all are equally objection; able that is our animating purpose. The Conscientious (Ejector Is supierncly indifferent to what the governijment may decide.
The prosecution was determined upon. a conviction, refusing counsel for the. dcfencs sufficient time in which adeqrratelytoprepanthsumlt lsunder stood that this procedrre was cictated by orderfroraabove. lc During the trial itself. which lasted fmdamthadefasgnndatheable managqnaat sf Louis Mn.
counsel for Fraina. completely smashed the case of the prosecution. Boudin first succeeded in the first count in the Espionage indictment dismissed: and before the case went to the jury, he made a motion to dismiss the Espionage indictment entire ly. on the ground that the statute re ferred to attempts to incite mutiny, inL having prosecdtiontriedtostrikaablowat the movement that they represent.
Moreover. lthe law of conspiracy under which they were triedis one of subordination and the refusal of service.
in the actual armed forces of the United States. and that the evidence did not show that there were present at the meeting any men actually in the military service of the United States. In spite. of the frenzied arguments and objections of Prosecutor Content; the Judge granted the motion. This is an important ruling. as it shows that there should be no indictment under tlfe Espionage. Act unless the actual military forces are involved.
In his address to the jury. Mr. Con tent indulged in a lot of talk about Americanism, and free speech not being license, and. insisted upon a verdict of guilty.
In his speech to, the jury Boudin made a powerful argument on the merits of the case. This was a prosecution of over excitement. Conspiracy is legally very broad and indefinite. specific set or crime is not sufficient proof to convict. as the facts must show a conspiracy. The simple fact Is that there has been no evidence introduced to show that these defendants entered into a cospiracy. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the problem of Conscientious (lsjectors, to create public.
sentiment to bring pressure to bear upon the government and the president to recognize their convictions. This has been a general public problem, discussed. even by the Secretary of wan. and this meeting, and the speeches and leaflet.
were part of this general public discussion.
When the case went to the jury, there were two counts in the indictment, the. one aleging that the defendants conspired to themselves evade the draft law, and the second that they conspired toaid. abet andinduccotherstodothe same thing. The jury found the defendants not guilty on the first count, and guilty on the second.
The Judge. Robert Ei vin. imposed a sentence of thirty days for each defendant in the Mercer County.
penitentiary. The reason for the light sentence, according to the judge. was the youth. of the defendants. District Attorney Content pleaded for a heavy sentence, particularly for Fraina, whom he accused of being the re dangerous of the two, editor of The lnterna tionaLandveryactive mtheproonssndsThe case is being appealed, in spits of the light sentence, because there are vital general principles involved. This is the first case where Conscientious (Ir jectors have been convicted because of their propaganda. Fraina and any.
TncywersilfactinchctedaaConscientionsCleectorgtriedaaConscisntious ijmmudconvictedasCoascientiouonjmeThreI Jti the the most dangerous statutes that can be and has been repeatedly used against the workers and their representatives.
Where the prosecution cannot prove a crime. they indct for conspiracy, and in this way secure a conviction which otherwise would be impossible. The case snust be fought to a finish.
ut most important of all Is this fact: that if the verdict stanch, organizations of Conscientious stectors may be automatically indicted for conspiracy to violate the draft law. Here are the facts in proof: The defense. introduced in evidence two telegrams, to show that the meeting was part of a general movement to, dis. cuss the status of the Conscientious Gsjectors. The first telegram, sent by The liague of Conscientious majectors to Secretary of War, Newton Baker.
was as follows. On behalf of 3500 Conscientious G):tectors whose idealism compels them to dccline all forms of military service.
we ask: What of the Conscientious (l)jector May we have your reply not later than Thursday, so that we can advise our meeting the stand you suggest.
The reply. sent by Keppel Confidential Clerk to the Secretary of War. was as follows. Telegram received. No specific as swer at present, matter being still under consideration by the President and the. Secretary of War.
In his charge to the jury, the judge used these telegrams against the da fendants. He said sn substance that if the defendants knew of the sending or the first telegram. and were aware. that the organization holding the meet. ing consisted of men who declined all. forms of military service, then: the defendants were guilty of implied eon. spiracy, and the jury should find them ruzltrThis ruling is monstrous, and the verdict must not be allowed to stand.
if it does, then two Conscientious Objectors are guilty of conspirrcy by virv tue of their convictions, and organizae tions of Conscientious 055. com may ba automatically indicted and convicted. The issue is serious. We must fight V out the issue. The defense is organizing a campaign in order to arouse public sentiment against th outrage. It needs money. Counsel for raina Is not being paid for his servic. all money rr ccived will be used pay the actual expenses of the appea (printing, filing, etc. and for prin a pamphlet describing the case in full and for general propaganda. Send all fun to Range. 477 East. 16d. Street. Brooklyn.
Lenin on the Russian Land Problem.
lNCE the peasants form the great mass of the Russian population, the outcome of the present revolution largely depends upon their attitude, and the position taken by different parties towardsthe land problem therefore is most important. The fact that the Provisional Government does not even at. tempt to solve the problem may contribute largely to its failure.
It is of great interest to learn the attitude of the Bolsheviki towards the peasants as expressed In a letter written by lenin, In accordance with instructions from the Central Committee of the Social Democratic Party In Russia to the, Congress of Peasants Delegates. Part of the letter relating to the land problem. reads as follows: The difference between us (the Bolsheviki and the Social Revolutionists. qu as the Mcnsheviki, manifest themselves in three important issues: the Iandproblem, thawarproblemandthe organization of the State.
All the» land must belong to the people. Allthelandofthabigland ownerrhastobetransferredtothe peasants without payment. This is relevant. But the ifferenes regarbthe following: will the peasants themselves take possession of the land immediately without paying anymore rent to the. land owners. without waiting for the constitutional bly, or will they not?
Our party as of the opinion that they should do this and advises the peasants to take immariately and locally posser sioaoftholand. heyshoulddothisas muchaapossirleinalo ttalildWwithout causing damage to the property and should use all efforts to increase the production of grain and meat. as the soldiers suffer immensely from hunger. The constitutional assembly will have to arrange for the definite fivision ofland, butatemporarydivision forthecomingharvestisonlypossibls.
through local committees, because the. Provisional Government. a government ofbglandownersandcapitalists, poat.
pones the calling together of the constitutional assembly. In order to bring the Iandtotheworkemitisnecessarytof create a close contact between the industrial workers. lHd the poor peanuts, who are aeudproletnnals.
VfIthoutsIschco operation, mimpoesible to defeat the capitalists, and witlr outsuchadefeatthelandwillnotcomci inthehaashofthepeoplgandthereid willbeisohberationfrompoverty. Without money. without capital, it is impor sibletogettools. cattle, seeds. The peasantsshorsldnotrelyoacapitalists nor on rich land owners, who are.
capstalsstsaswellbutonlyonthaworh ersfromthecities. susosss. HelpalongthegoodworkbyordarmgabundlsafTheNewl tenatsoaal 3c. acopy