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View Poll Results: Did Joe Hill commit the murder he was executed for?
A preponderance of the evidence suggests probably yes. 5 16.67%
A preponderance of the evidence suggests probably no. 11 36.67%
The evidence is inconclusive. 8 26.67%
On Planet X Joe Hill is still alive. 6 20.00%
Voters: 30. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 18th December 2012, 06:51 AM   #1
Puppycow
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Was Joe Hill a murderer?

I was just looking through the Wikipedia article on him and I'm not sure.

Let's put aside political predispositions and try to answer the question based on logic and reasoning.

Joe HillWP
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Old 18th December 2012, 07:42 AM   #2
catsmate1
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You're basing your opinion purely on Wiki?
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Old 18th December 2012, 09:10 AM   #3
Puppycow
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Originally Posted by catsmate1 View Post
You're basing your opinion purely on Wiki?
Did I give an opinion?
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Old 18th December 2012, 09:22 AM   #4
Psi Baba
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From that account, it sounds like he had nothing to do with it. There was no explanation as to why, if he killed the two men, he himself would have been shot. The article didn't say that the victims returned fire. A lot of railroading went on in those days just to have a scapegoat, such as the case of Bruno Hauptmann and the Lindbergh kidnapping.
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Old 18th December 2012, 09:28 AM   #5
catsmate1
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
Did I give an opinion?
Well the only source you like to suggests he wasn't guilty. But then so do most sources, such as this website, and various books about the case.
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Old 18th December 2012, 09:53 AM   #6
The Central Scrutinizer
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Originally Posted by Psi Baba View Post
From that account, it sounds like he had nothing to do with it. There was no explanation as to why, if he killed the two men, he himself would have been shot. The article didn't say that the victims returned fire. A lot of railroading went on in those days just to have a scapegoat, such as the case of Bruno Hauptmann and the Lindbergh kidnapping.
Bad example. Hauptmann is almost certainly guilty.
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Old 18th December 2012, 09:59 AM   #7
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Discount the one yes vote, I just went on line after just getting up and hit the wrong one. Mea culpa!!. I meant to hit NO......
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Old 18th December 2012, 12:40 PM   #8
Psi Baba
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Originally Posted by The Central Scrutinizer View Post
Bad example. Hauptmann is almost certainly guilty.
Good example. The investigation was taking too long and the public was clamoring for a scapegoat, so as soon as another suspect was named for whatever reason, his fate was sealed. The evidence was flimsy and circumstantial at best. But I don't wish to derail this thread.
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Old 18th December 2012, 12:49 PM   #9
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It's hard for a labor man to admit it, but I think that Joe probably did knock that place over. And his alibi never materialised. However, the bosses and their tame cops -- and judges, and newspaper scribblers -- meant to do him in, and as shamefully as possible, so his conviction was foregone from the first moment.

As sometimes happens, though, they got exactly the reverse of what they wanted, and

I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night,
Alive as you and me.
But Joe, I said, you're ten years dead.
"I never died," said he.

Don't mourn, organize.
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Old 18th December 2012, 12:51 PM   #10
The Central Scrutinizer
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Originally Posted by Psi Baba View Post
Good example. The investigation was taking too long and the public was clamoring for a scapegoat, so as soon as another suspect was named for whatever reason, his fate was sealed. The evidence was flimsy and circumstantial at best. But I don't wish to derail this thread.
No.
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Old 18th December 2012, 12:54 PM   #11
Charlie Wilkes
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Originally Posted by Psi Baba View Post
Good example. The investigation was taking too long and the public was clamoring for a scapegoat, so as soon as another suspect was named for whatever reason, his fate was sealed. The evidence was flimsy and circumstantial at best. But I don't wish to derail this thread.
I don't think you're derailing the thread, because it makes sense to compare cases and look broadly at what does and does not constitute real evidence of guilt.

Hauptmann ended up with the ransom money, he was a German, like whoever wrote the ransom notes seemed to be, and it would have been difficult to modify the ladder to frame him, as some have alleged. There's a good case that he was guilty.

With Joe Hill, there's a good case that he was guilty of being a Wobbly, and that's about it.
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Old 18th December 2012, 01:57 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by The Central Scrutinizer View Post
Bad example. Hauptmann is almost certainly guilty.
Yeah, Hauptman was almost certainly guilty. Not necessarily solely guilty (he may well have had accomplices who were not brought to justice) but it is rather implausible that he wasn't mixed up in the kidnapping in some manner.
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Old 18th December 2012, 09:54 PM   #13
fuelair
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Originally Posted by Charlie Wilkes View Post
I don't think you're derailing the thread, because it makes sense to compare cases and look broadly at what does and does not constitute real evidence of guilt.

Hauptmann ended up with the ransom money, he was a German, like whoever wrote the ransom notes seemed to be, and it would have been difficult to modify the ladder to frame him, as some have alleged. There's a good case that he was guilty.

With Joe Hill, there's a good case that he was guilty of being a Wobbly, and that's about it.
That ladder point reminded me that at least forty five years ago I read a book from an ex-Forestry (as I recall) lab specialist and he described as one small part of it the specific forensic work the Service did to verify the wood in the ladder. It was quite logical and at my level of understanding of chem/bio/forensics it seemed well done.
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Old 21st December 2012, 02:42 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Psi Baba View Post
Good example. The investigation was taking too long and the public was clamoring for a scapegoat, so as soon as another suspect was named for whatever reason, his fate was sealed. The evidence was flimsy and circumstantial at best. But I don't wish to derail this thread.
I find this post very Fischy indeed.
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Old 22nd December 2012, 02:21 PM   #15
Tiktaalik
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Originally Posted by sackett View Post
It's hard for a labor man to admit it, but I think that Joe probably did knock that place over. And his alibi never materialised. However, the bosses and their tame cops -- and judges, and newspaper scribblers -- meant to do him in, and as shamefully as possible, so his conviction was foregone from the first moment.

As sometimes happens, though, they got exactly the reverse of what they wanted, and

I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night,
Alive as you and me.
But Joe, I said, you're ten years dead.
"I never died," said he.

Don't mourn, organize.
I've had that song stuck in my head ever since I saw this thread title, thanks.
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Old 23rd December 2012, 09:00 PM   #16
Puppycow
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Originally Posted by sackett View Post
It's hard for a labor man to admit it, but I think that Joe probably did knock that place over. And his alibi never materialised.
Yeah, his lack of a good alibi is the part that makes me think maybe he did it.
I realize that the burden is not supposed to be on the defendant to prove his innocence, but I also imagine that if his alibi were true he would have probably been able to provide more details about it.

Quote:
In a letter to the court, Hill continued to deny that the state had a right to inquire into the origins of his wound, leaving little doubt that the judges would affirm the conviction. Chief Justice Daniel Straup wrote that his unexplained wound was "a distinguishing mark," and that "the defendant may not avoid the natural and reasonable inferences of remaining silent."[9]
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Old 6th January 2013, 07:39 PM   #17
Kevin_Lowe
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Based only upon the wiki and no proper research at all, the prosecution case seems to have sucked. All they had was a red hankie and the fact he had been shot. Lots of people have red hankies and four other people were shot that same night in that same town, plus there didn't even seem to be any evidence linking the fact he was shot to the murder.

That shouldn't have amounted to a hill of beans, let alone to proof beyond reasonable doubt.

He didn't have an alibi, but then again he didn't have a motive or a history of similar crimes.

I'll revise my opinion if more relevant evidence shows up but for now I'd say he was more likely than not innocent, and the murder was carried out by someone else who had it in for the victim.
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