Why Were Sacco And Vanzetti Most Likely Convicted?

In America’s history, few stories stir up as much talk as Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti’s. Back on July 14, 1921, they were declared guilty of a serious crime after just a short discussion by a jury. People later thought unfair feelings against Italians, immigrants, and anarchists had a big say in their punishment.

What Happened at the Trial

Even though Sacco and Vanzetti tried to appeal, it didn’t work. They pointed out issues with the evidence and statements made before the trial, but the judge and the court said no. By 1926, their story was known worldwide, making them famous for what many believed was a big mistake.

Bartolomeo Vanzetti (left) and Nicola Sacco (right), defendants in the anarchist trial, were pictured.
Bartolomeo Vanzetti (left) and Nicola Sacco (right), defendants in the anarchist trial, were pictured. (Image by en.wikipedia.org)

A Call for Help from Around the World

In 1927, people in big cities all over the world protested. People like professors, artists, and even the leader of Italy, Benito Mussolini, asked for fairness. Harvard professor Felix Frankfurter and Mussolini tried to show that Sacco and Vanzetti didn’t do anything wrong.

The Final Moments

Set to be executed in April 1927, the situation got even more intense. Because so many people asked for mercy, the governor of Massachusetts, Alvan T. Fuller, set up a group to check if things were done fairly. But after talking to many people, they still said Sacco and Vanzetti were guilty. So, on August 23, 1927, they were put to death in an electric chair.

What Happened Later

People didn’t stop thinking about Sacco and Vanzetti even after they were gone. In the 1930s and ’40s, more investigations happened. The letters they wrote, saying they were innocent, made some people wonder if they got a fair trial. Even on the 50th anniversary of their execution in 1977, the governor of Massachusetts, Michael Dukakis, said they were treated unfairly.


July 14, 1921Sacco and Vanzetti found guilty of a serious crime
April 1927Sacco and Vanzetti set to be executed
August 23, 1927Sacco and Vanzetti executed in the electric chair
August 23, 1977Governor Dukakis says Sacco and Vanzetti were treated unfairly


Q1: Why were Sacco and Vanzetti thought to be guilty?

A1: People believed their Italian background, being immigrants, and being anarchists influenced the decision against them.

Q2: Did Sacco and Vanzetti get any help with their appeals?

A2: Despite trying to show problems with the evidence, their appeals were turned down, and they were executed.

Q3: Did anyone outside the U.S. support Sacco and Vanzetti?

A3: Yes, people worldwide protested, and even Italy’s leader, Benito Mussolini, tried to help them.

Q4: What did Governor Dukakis say about the case in 1977?

A4: Governor Dukakis declared that Sacco and Vanzetti were treated unfairly and should not be blamed.

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