Monday, March 30, 2015

Is This Justice Asks The Concord Times, 1903

"Is This Justice" in the Watauga Democrat, March 12, 1903

There was more than one exclamation of surprise when it was noted abroad that Arthur L. Bishop had been sentenced to five years in the State prison for the murder of Thomas J. Wilson. Five years is a small price to pay for taking the life of a fellow man, and especially when the circumstances were as aggravated as they were in the case under discussion.

There were few extenuating circumstances in the Bishop case. Mr. Wilson acted probably as any other citizen would have acted under similar circumstances, while Bishop was in fault from the start. He sinned when he, a man of family, paid improper attention to women; he sinned when he offered intoxicating drink to those young women; if he did not have designs against them, then the circumstances and the evidence in the case count for nothing.

Again, when he entered the Wilson home at a late hour of the night carrying liquor, he placed himself in a position not only to be ordered out, but to be thrown out summarily, if the owner of the house and the father of that young woman had seen fit to do so.

It was a horrible affair, contemplated form every view point, a mortal sent to face his Maker, a daughter left fatherless and a woman a widow.

Five years, we repeat, is a small punishment for a man who, after committing two grievous sins, adds to them the crime of shooting down, in his own home, a reputable citizen who attempted to preserve the sanctity of that home, and protect the virtue of his daughter.

Jim Wilcox, against whom there was not one scintilla of direct evidence, was twice found guilty of murder. Bishop, who shot down his victim in his own home and did not deny it, was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to only five years in the penitentiary. Haywood, who killed the man he had wronged on the streets in broad day-light, will plead self defense, and will go free, no doubt. Tillman, who murdered an unsuspecting man without a word or sign of warning, will go scot free, it seems to be generally conceded. In the face of such facts as these where in the name of heaven has justice flown?

--The Concord Times

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