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It applies in
every case where a party does an act which the law pronounces
criminal, whether the party knows or does not know that the law
has made the act a crime. That maxim would have applied to this
case, if the defendant had voted, knowing that she had no legal
right to vote; without knowing that the law had made the act of
knowingly voting without a right, a crime. In that case she would
have done the act which the law made a crime, and could not have
shielded herself from the penalty by pleading ignorance of the
law. But in the present case the defendant has not done the act
which the law pronounces a crime. The law has not made the act of
voting without a lawful right to vote, a crime, where it is done
by mistake, and in the belief by the party voting that he has the
lawful right to vote. The crime consists in voting "knowingly,"
without lawful right. Unless the knowledge exists in fact, the
very gist of the offense is wanting. To hold that the law
presumes conclusively that such knowledge exists in all cases
where the legal right is wanting, and to reject all evidence to
the contrary, or to deny to such evidence any effect, as has been
done on this trial, is to strike the word "knowingly" out of the
statute--and to condemn the defendant on the legal fiction that
she was acting in bad faith, it being all the while conceded that
she was in fact acting in good faith. I admit that there are
precedents to sustain such ruling, but they can not be reconciled
with the fundamental principles of criminal law, nor with the
most ordinary rules of justice. Such a ruling can not but shock
the moral sense of all right-minded, unprejudiced men.

No doubt the assumption by the defendant of a belief of her right
to vote might be made use of by her as a mere cover to secure the
privilege of giving a known illegal vote, and of course that
false assumption would constitute no defense to the charge of
illegal voting. If the defendant had dressed herself in male
attire, and had voted as John Anthony, instead of Susan, she
would not be able to protect herself against a charge of voting
with a knowledge that she had no right to vote, by asserting her
belief that she had a right to vote as a woman. The artifice
would no doubt effectually overthrow the assertion of good faith.
No such question, however, is made here. The decision of which I
complain concedes that the defendant voted in good faith, in the
most implicit belief that she had a right to vote, and condemns
her on the strength of the legal fiction, conceded to be in fact
a mere fiction, that she knew the contrary. But if the facts
admitted of a doubt of the defendant's good faith, that was a
question for the jury, and it was clear error for the court to
assume the decision of it.

Again. The denial of the right to poll the jury was most clearly
an error. Under the provisions of the Constitution which have
been cited, the defendant could only be convicted on the verdict
of a jury. The case of Cancemi shows that such jury must consist
of twelve men; and it will not be claimed that anything less than
the unanimous voice of the jury can be received as their verdict.
How then could the defendant be lawfully deprived of the right to
ask every juror if the verdict had his assent? I believe this is
a right which was never before denied to a party against whom a
verdict was rendered in any case, either civil or criminal. The
following cases show, and many others might be cited to the same
effect, that the right to poll the jury is an absolute right in
all cases, civil and criminal. (The People _vs._ Perkins, 1
Wend., 91; Jackson _vs._ Hawks, 2 Wend., 619; Fox _vs._ Smith, 3
Cowen, 23.)

The ground on which the right of the defendant to vote has been
denied, is, as I understood the decision of the Court,

That the rights of the citizens of the State as such were
not under consideration in the XIV. Amendment; that they
stand as they did before that Amendment.... The right of
voting or the privilege of voting is a right or privilege
arising under the Constitution of the State, and not of the
United States. If the right belongs to any particular
person, it is because such person is entitled to it as a
citizen of the State where he offers to exercise it, and not
because of citizenship of the United States.... The
regulation of the suffrage is conceded to the States as a
State right.

If this position be correct, which I am not now disposed to
question, I respectfully insist that the Congress of the United
States had no power to pass the act in question; that by doing so
it has attempted to usurp the rights of States, and that all
proceedings under the act are void.

I claim therefore that the defendant is entitled to a new trial.

First--Because she has been denied her right of trial by jury.

Second--Because she has been denied the right to ask the jury
severally whether they assented to the verdict which the Court
had recorded for them.

Third--Because the Court erroneously held, that the defendant had
not a lawful right to vote.

Fourth--Because the Court erroneously held, that if the
defendant, when she voted, did so in good faith, believing that
she had a right to vote, that fact constituted no defense.

Fifth--Because the Court erroneously held that the question,
whether the defendant at the time of voting knew that she had not
a right to vote, was a question of law to be decided by the
Court, and not a question of fact to be decided by the jury.

Sixth--Because the Court erred in holding that it was a
presumption of law that the defendant knew that she was not a
legal voter, although in fact she had not that knowledge.

Seventh--Because Congress had no Constitutional right to pass the
act under which the defendant was indicted, and the act and all
proceedings under it are void.

Sir, so far as my information in regard to legal proceedings
extends, this is the only court in any country where trial by
jury exists, in which the decisions that are made in the haste
and sometimes confusion of such trials, are not subject to review
before any other tribunal. I believe that to the decisions of
this court, in criminal cases, no review is allowed, except in
the same court in the informal way in which I now ask your honor
to review the decisions made on this trial. This is therefore the
court of last resort, and I hope your honor will give to these,
as they appear to me, grave questions, such careful and
deliberate consideration as is due to them from such final
tribunal.

If a new trial shall be denied to the defendant, it will be no
consolation to her to be dismissed with a slight penalty, leaving
the stigma resting upon her name, of conviction for an offense of
which she claims to be, and I believe is, an innocent as the
purest of the millions of male voters who voted at the same
election, are innocent of crime in so voting. If she is in fact
guilty of the crime with which she stands charged, and of which
she has been convicted by the court, she deserves the utmost
penalty which the court under the law has power to impose; if she
is not guilty she should be acquitted, and not declared upon the
records of this high court guilty of a crime she never committed.

The Court, after listening to an argument from the District Attorney,
denied the motion for a new trial.

The COURT: The prisoner will stand up. Has the prisoner anything
to say why sentence shall not be pronounced?

Miss ANTHONY: Yes, your honor, I have many things to say; for in
your ordered verdict of guilty, you have trampled underfoot every
vital principle of our government. My natural rights, my civil
rights, my political rights, are all alike ignored. Robbed of the
fundamental privilege of citizenship, I am degraded from the
status of a citizen to that of a subject; and not only myself
individually, but all of my sex, are, by your honor's verdict,
doomed to political subjection under this so-called Republican
government.

Judge HUNT: The Court can not listen to a rehearsal of arguments
the prisoner's counsel has already consumed three hours in
presenting.

Miss ANTHONY: May it please your honor, I am not arguing the
question, but simply stating the reasons why sentence can not, in
justice, be pronounced against me. Your denial of my citizen's
right to vote is the denial of my right of consent as one of the
governed, the denial of my right of representation as one of the
taxed, the denial of my right to a trial by a jury of my peers as
an offender against law, therefore, the denial of my sacred
rights to life, liberty, property, and--

Judge HUNT: The Court can not allow the prisoner to go on.

Miss ANTHONY: But your honor will not deny me this one and only
poor privilege of protest against this high-handed outrage upon
my citizen's rights. May it please the Court to remember that
since the day of my arrest last November, this is the first time
that either myself or any person of my disfranchised class has
been allowed a word of defense before judge or jury--

Judge HUNT: The prisoner must sit down; the Court can not allow
it.

Miss ANTHONY: All my prosecutors, from the 8th Ward corner
grocery politician, who entered the complaint, to the United
States Marshal, Commissioner, District Attorney, District Judge,
your honor on the bench, not one is my peer, but each and all are
my political sovereigns; and had your honor submitted my case to
the jury, as was clearly your duty, even then I should have had
just cause of protest, for not one of those men was my peer; but,
native or foreign, white or black, rich or poor, educated or
ignorant, awake or asleep, sober or drunk, each and every man of
them was my political superior; hence, in no sense, my peer.
Even, under such circumstances, a commoner of England, tried
before a jury of lords, would have far less cause to complain
than should I, a woman, tried before a jury of men.



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