Everett Rich to the Editor of the Chicago Tribune, December 6, 1920



Chicago, Dec. 6. -- {Editor of the Tribune.} -- Miss Jane Addams, in criticizing THE TRIBUNE editorial of Dec. 4 says "It is difficult to understand upon what historic precedent THE TRIBUNE bases its dogmatic statement that executions make life safe."

Assuming that the criminal records of Cook County during Gov. Deneen's administration [page 2] are now "historic," I will name a "precedent."

My friend and neighbor, Mr. Clarence Hiller, was awakened at night by the screams of his daughter. Rushing into the hallway he grappled with a burly Negro burglar. After a desperate struggle the two men rolled down the stairway, at the foot of which the Negro disengaged himself sufficiently to draw a gun and shoot, killing Mr. Hiller instantly. Within fifteen minutes the burglar was arrested by the police on suspicion as he was hurrying to board a trolley car, with a gun in his possession.

The name of the Negro was Jennings and it was found that twice before he had been convicted of burglary but each time had been released "on parole" by the board of pardons upon petitions signed by people of benevolent intentions, like Miss Addams. It matters not whether her name was among them.

Jennings was convicted of murder and sentenced to be hanged.

Again a group of these benevolent reformers, Miss Addams prominent among them, begged Gov. Deneen to commute the sentence, but he refused, and the man was hanged.

If these sentimental interlopers had not obtained the man's release from his first incarcerations he would not have been at liberty at the time of the murder. Again, had he not been executed he would probably have committed more murder or burglary within a very short time.