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This Day in Georgia History

August 22, 1913

Leo Frank Trail Day 23

To view an image of Leo Frank at his trial, see the Digital Library of Georgia.

In Fulton County Superior Court, the capital murder trial of Leo Frank began its twenty-third day. Prosecutor Hugh Dorsey took the offense, blistering Frank’s character and portraying Mary Phagan as a symbol of lost innocence and virtue. Dorsey tried to deflect charges of anti-Semitism by recalling the great names in Jewish history, arguing that Frank with his deviant behavior dishonored them as well as the southern girl he had so brutally murdered. Although Judge L.S. Roan kept strict control of the courtroom, Dorsey’s words were quickly relayed to the large crowd waiting outside. When Dorsey emerged he was greeted with thunderous applause.