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THE NEVER-ENDING WRONG

The Never-Ending Wrong - Katherine Anne Porter

"THE NEVER-ENDING WRONG" is essentially Katherine Anne Porter's account of the experiences she had during the 1920s working with a group protesting the conviction of the shoemaker Nicola Sacco and the fishmonger Bartolomeo Vanzetti (both by political conviction, anarchists) on the charge of murder by a Massachusetts court. Porter focuses on what she observed and experienced during the final hours leading to the execution of both Sacco and Vanzetti in August 1927. In its time, the Sacco-Vanzetti case was a cause célèbre that garnered considerable support and attention - both nationally and internationally - among notable people like Porter who believed that both men had been wrongly convicted. This book, originally published in 1977 - 3 years before Porter's death at age 90 -- is also a retrospective for the author on the previous 5 decades.

"THE NEVER-ENDING WRONG" at 63 pages is a short book. But one rich in insights such as the following observation made by the author: "... the grim little person named Rosa Baron ... who was head of my particular group during the Sacco-Vanzetti demonstrations in Boston snapped at me when I expressed the wish that we might save the lives of Sacco and Vanzetti: ' Alive --- what for? They are no earthly good to us alive.' These painful incidents illustrate at least four common perils in the legal handling that anyone faces when accused of a capital crime of which he is not guilty, especially if he has a dubious place in society, an unpopular nationality, erroneous political beliefs, the wrong religion socially, poverty, low social standing --- ... Both... Sacco and Vanzetti, suffered nearly all of these disadvantages."