The Clarence Darrow Digital Collection
Written letter from Clarence Darrow collection
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Clarence Darrow Signature

The Clarence Darrow Letters

Clarence Darrow to Paul Darrow, March 24, 1913

Darrow is referring to the dismissal of the bribery charges against him. It was up to Los Angeles District Attorney John D. Fredericks whether or not to try Darrow for a third time after the first trial ended in a not guilty verdict and the second trial on different bribery charges ended in mistrial on March 8, 1913, with a hung jury voting 8 to 4 for conviction. Several accounts state that Fredericks made a deal with Darrow that if Darrow left and never practiced law in Los Angeles again, Fredericks would drop the charges. Fredericks did eventually drop the charges.

Click on the image to view as a PDF. A transcription of the letter is on the right.

March 24 '13

Dear Paul

To day I had a talk with Dist. Atty. He offers to let case be continued until June 15 at which time he practically promises to dismiss it. There will really be no doubt about this. In the mean time I can go back to Chicago & will not need to return unless I wish. As I think they would not try it any how & the best I can get in the end is a dismissal. I have no doubt I will accept it & go in to court in a day or two & continue it & if xxx You see that it is continued you can expect so see me about April xxx 6th to 10th will send you word

in advance. I suppose I am coming out of a hard fight all right? & it doesnt worry me in the least. If it had not been for two or three put over on me & the D?n [?] of fairness there would have been nothing to the last trial? but what of it all? Dont say that you know the case is to be dismissed[.]