down here look with different
eyes on a woman than on a man.
That is the trouble and disrace of
"Every public officer must 'en
force the law, whether it is a wo
man who is guilty, or a man. Dr.
Booth did not stand well in this
community. He himself should
have been indicted in this court
no less than three years ago. But
he was not.
"That was one lapse of the law,
but that is no reason why there
should be another. In our tol
erance of woman's crimes we are
cultivating a disrespect for law.
The worst crimes in the history
of the world were committed by
Evidently the judge wanted an
indictment for murder in the first
("cgree, but he didn't get it. After
11 hours of wrangling the jury
charged Mrs. Booth with man
slaughter. Of course it isn't a judge's
business here or any place else to
convict husband slayers or any
other persons charged with
crime. A judge is supposed to let
the prosecutor do that.
But the prosecutor in this case
is intensely human, a southern
man who prides himself on his
chivalry and tender feeling for
unfortunate women. Most of the
men down here are like that.
They can't believe that it's a
crime and disgrace to treat a wo
man more leniently for breaking
a man-made law than they would
treat a man.
Nobody here, excepting mavbe
Judge Ransdell, thinks any trial, j
jury will convict Mrs. Booth.
Most people have already for
given her for killing Dr. Booth.
While Judge Ransdell was tell
ing the grand jury that Mrs.
Booth's deed "is one of the most
horrible and gravest transgres
sions of the law ever committed V )
in Louisiana," people who think
they can find justice outside a
courtroom as well as in it were
telling how this same Dr. Booth
abused, mistreated, and deceived
his first wife, and then took ad
vantage of pretty little Clarice
Nelson and forced her to marry
him for her reputation's sake .
within two weeks after the first
Mrs. Booth died of a broken
Dr. Booth was one of "the most
famous surgeons in the south. In
his big sanitarium he performed
wonderful operations, and his
patients made him a rich man.
But with all that his reputation,
his scandalous affairs with
women, his brutal treatment of
his first wife and of his second,
too; for he soon tired of her
closed the doors of respectable
people against him.
Mrs. Booth says, "I couldn't
help it. I had to kill him."
That will be her defense she
had to kill her husband. His cruel
treatment of her, she says, was (D
threatening her with the same
fate the first wife met with.
And in the face of that, Judge
Ransdell sounds a warning
against the "chivalry" which
would not render impartial jus
tice to a woman slayer, as it
would to a man.
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