Vigilantes prepare to try Casey and Cora

Around two that afternoon, as soon as James Casey was securely incarcerated at vigilante headquarters, the whole party returned to the county jail for Charles Cora. There was some delay in getting him but he finally appeared and was placed in the same carriage as Casey had been and driven, with an armed escort, back to Sacramento Street where he was confined. The war committee had determined that the jail should remain in possession of the sheriff and, except for a small guard, all the military units there were withdrawn. It had been decided that no one would be allowed to see the prisoners so when Joseph S. Alemany, archbishop of the San Francisco Catholic Church, asked to see Casey as his spiritual adviser he was not allowed to do so. George F. James, who said he was the attorney for both Cora and Casey, was told they did not require his services, but Casey was allowed to see several men about financial matters as long as a witness was present.

Archbishop Joseph S. Alemany

Joseph S. Alemany

The trial for both Casey and Cora was set for May 20th and would be held before the executive committee. The decision would be by ballot with a majority vote to convict and this would be reported to the general body of the Committee of Vigilance for approval as a unanimous vote. Because of the large number of committee members and the difficulty of communicating with them it was resolved that each company should appoint two delegates who, along with the company captain, would have full power to represent these companies and these delegates should be ready for action by the next day. After a trial began there would be no recess for more than thirty minutes until that trial was concluded. Only one person could question witnesses in direct examination but after that any member could ask any question he wanted. Casey and Cora were allowed to chose any member of the executive committee to act as his lawyer and aid in his defense. Charles Cora was to be tried first.


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