image
image

image
image
 

MEMBERS OF THE CALHOUN AND KALAMAZOO COUNTY BARS

BY A. D. P. VAN BUREN

His large sympathetic nature may have often moved him to temper the severity of the law to the condition of the criminal at the bar. Ezra Beck-with, of Galesburg, who has often served as juror when Littlejohn was on the bench at Kalamazoo, says: "I have seen the tears fall down Judge Littlejohn's cheeks while giving sentence to a criminal. A young man, probably demented, had obtained some property by false pretenses. The jury, trying him, brought in a verdict against the young man. Littlejohn, in addressing him. said: '"Your sentence should have been non compos mentis, but as the jury have brought you in guilty, I will make it as light as possible. It will lie twenty dollars, or twenty days in jail. Which would you prefer?" The father of the boy urged the twenty days in jail as best. It was enforced. "The case following this, " says Mr. Beckwith, "was that of a bigamist. A man married when his first wife was alive, and pleaded in court that he did not know that she was living. " The judge replied, "we have just had a case where we have been lenient to an unfortunate young man. And we think justly so. But there is no leniency to be given such a man as you. A man ought to know where his wife is. We sentence you to five years in the penitentiary. "
Judge Littlejohn was never diverted from the facts and the law in the case by the special pleading, sophistry or eloquence of the lawyers, but could unravel from the intricate web of the case its true history, and thus reach the most just and correct conclusions. There is a peculiar feature in the circuit court system. It is this: There are certain cases tried before the judge on the basis of law and testimony, justice and equity not being considered in trying them.

Michigan Bar


Page 10


 






Please help us keep this site online and to continue to bring sites like this one.
Thank you



image
image
image

Site Map | Chapter Index | MICHIGAN
Saginaw ValleyII | Lucius Lyon | Michigan 1-5 | Michigan 6 | Michigan 7 | Michigan 8 | Michigan 9 | Michigan 19 | Michigan 11 | Michigan 12 | Michigan 13 | Michigan 14 | Michigan 15 | Michigan 16 | Michigan 17 |Indian Doctor | Reminiscences | 1787 | Questions | Settlement | Yerks
image