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Expert Commentary


  • Byron Johnson
  • Byron Johnson is a retired Idaho Supreme Court Justice and defense attorney. He has had a life-long interest in the Haywood Trial.

    "The thing that struck me the most, the more I studied the original confession, was that on the first page Harry Orchard lied twice."

  • Katherine Aiken
  • Katherine Aiken is Dean of the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Idaho. Her latest book is Idaho's Bunker Hill: The Rise and Fall of a Great Mining Company, 1885-1925.

    "When the rubber hit the road, this group of Idaho farmers was willing to deliver a verdict of Not Guilty, when that didn't happen at Haymarket or numbers of other places. Idahoans' sense of fair play, I think, enters into this."

  • David Grover
  • David Grover is an historian and writer who has written several books, including Debaters and Dynamiters: The Story of the Haywood Trial.

    "Darrow... seemed to violate so many of his own precepts. He said, I won't ever let a Scotchman sit on a jury. Well, he let two of them, and they were both for him all the way through."

Why the Trial Still Matters

We asked our three experts to weigh in on why the Haywood trial of 1907 is still relevant today.

Two Reporters' Perspectives

Oscar King Davis of the venerable New York Times and Ida Crouch Hazlett of the tiny Socialist paper, The Montana News, represented two very different viewpoints about the Haywood trial.

Period News Headlines

  • newspaper headline
  • View newspaper headlines from the trial period.

Criminal Justice, Then and Now

  • Clarence Darrow
  • Learn how the Haywood trial of 1907 illustrates criminal law in Idaho and the rest of the United States in the early twentieth century, and how criminal procedures today compare to those used during the trial.

A Good Hanging Spoiled