On Demand Program

Sacco and Vanzetti: 100 Years Later


Date Aired: Thursday, April 29, 2021
Runtime: 2:00h

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On April 15, 1920, a robbery and double murder in South Braintree, Massachusetts, led to the arrest of two Italian anarchists, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti. They were tried and convicted at Dedham Superior Court in 1921. No one could have foreseen that this local criminal case would become a global affair over the seven years the defendants were held in custody until their execution in 1927. The prosecution was fueled by the Red Scare, and the xenophobia then rampant in Massachusetts and the nation.

The execution of the two defendants, despite substantial evidence that they did not receive a fair trial, exposed structural flaws in our criminal justice system. The widely held belief that a grave injustice had occurred inspired painters, musicians, sculptors and writers from around the world to create enduring works of art in memory of Sacco and Vanzetti.

Peter W. Agnes Jr., who retired last year after a nearly 30-year career as a trial and appellate judge, will offer a multimedia-based review and assessment of the case and its continuing impact on society. A question-and-answer session will follow the panel presentation.

This session was hosted using Zoom.


Joseph P. Hurley III, Esq., Program Co-chair & Moderator
Massachusetts District Court-Boston, Boston
Michael Hayden, Esq., Program Co-chair
Morrison Mahoney LLP, Boston
Marc Diller, Esq., Program Co-chair
Diller Law LLP, Boston
Hon. Peter W. Agnes Jr. (ret.), Panelist

Sponsoring Sections:

Judicial Administration Section

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