February 3, 2013

from jail with Mindell

Дэвид написал очередную заметку, на этот раз про освобождение МС из тюрьмы 2 февраля 1917 года:
February 2, 1917 : Verdicts were announced today in the cases of birth control advocates Margaret Sanger and Fania Mindell. They were tried on January 29th for violating Section 1142 of the New York State Penal Code. This statute prohibits anyone from selling or giving away birth control devices, or even information about contraception, and classifies both as "indecent articles." Sentencing will be on the 5th.

Mindell was convicted of selling a copy of one of Sanger's booklets on sexuality and reproduction at Sanger's first-in-the-nation birth control clinic. It opened on October 16th and operated until it was raided and closed on October 26th. Sanger, who was arrested as she counseled three women about birth control, while openly displaying contraceptive devices, was found guilty as well.

The verdicts of the three-judge panel (the defendants were denied jury trials) were read just hours after Sanger's sister, Ethel Byrne, was freed from the Blackwell's Island Workhouse by Governor Whitman's pardon. She had been imprisoned since January 22nd for her role in the running of the clinic.

The reason for the four-day delay in announcing the verdicts was so that the judges could read the Sanger booklet for themselves to determine whether it was in violation of the law, then read briefs submitted by prosecution and defense concerning whether Sanger's actions in opening and running the clinic could be justified.

Sanger said that whether she goes on a hunger strike as her sister did will depend upon what the court decides to do at the time of sentencing. If she is permitted to remain free on bond while her conviction is being appealed, there would obviously be no strike. But if she, too, is sent straight to the Workhouse, she might follow her sister's example, though other ideas are being considered as well.

Ethel Byrne, pardoned by the Governor yesterday after serving 10 days of her 30-day sentence, is at Sanger's home. She is recuperating from the effects of the hunger strike she began immediately after her conviction and sentencing on January 22nd, and the ordeal of about a dozen force-feedings, which commenced on January 27th. Though still weak, her doctor says that she will regain her health soon.

Should Sanger and Mindell be given prison sentences, they, too, could be in the custody of Commissioner of Correction Burdette Lewis, who has made no secret of his hostility toward Ethel Byrne, and who ordered her force-feeding four and a half days after she began her hunger strike.

(Photo : Margaret Sanger, just to the left of the baby in white ; Fania Mindell, just to the left of Sanger ; and Ethel Byrne, leaning forward, and just to the right of the mother holding the baby. The photo was taken on January 8th as they emerged from the Court of Special Sessions.)

No comments:

Post a Comment