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The day before yesterday, it was Louis Amberg, an innocent martyr, if there ever was one, not only in death but throughout his whole adult life. Fifteen times an unjust society had called him into court for homicide, assault with intent to kill, and other such vile offenses. And fifteen times the poor fellow, with his reputation nevertheless ruined, was able easily to prove that he was as innocent as a new born lamb.
Yesterday it was Dutch Shultz Flagenheimer and his two bodyguards. His life also was a succession of cruel martyrdoms, a continual flight from the criminally libelous ( as proved in the courts many a time) epithet of Gangster and Racketeer and Public Enemy. Only the newspapers were polite enough to pre-attach the modest adjective "alleged."
Do the foul slanderers of these innocent men know what their loose tongues lead to? Do they feel the ignominy which their poor victims must feel? Do they not realize that their words eventually and necessarily incite idealists to do away with the innocents whom they describe in such terms?
The answer and solution is obvious. The libel laws must be made more stringent. The prosecuting attorneys must be made liable to them. Newspapers must not be excused from them by the formality of an adjective. Idealism must be abolished.
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