• Leo Frank jury. Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.

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    Photograph of Jury that Convicted Leo Frank
    • Date
    • 1910/1915
    • Creator
    • U.S. District Court for the Atlanta Division of the Northern District of Georgia.
    • Description
    • Photograph of Leo Frank Jury
    • Rights
    • Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
    • Partner
    • National Archives and Records Administration; National Archives and Records Administration
    • Contributing Institution
    • National Archives at Atlanta

  • Front page of the August 26, 1913, edition of the Thomasville Daily Times Enterprise newspaper, announcing conviction and sentence of Leo Frank. Courtesy of the Georgia Newspaper Project via Digital Library of Georgia.

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    The Daily times-enterprise, Aug. 26, 1915
    • Date
    • 1913-08-26
    • Creator
    • Thomasville Daily Times Enterprise
    • Description
    • Front page of the August 26, 1913 edition of the Thomasville Daily Times Enterprise newspaper, announcing conviction and sentence of Leo Frank
    • Rights
    • Courtesy of the Georgia Newspaper Project via Digital Library of Georgia. This item is in the public domain.
    • Partner
    • Digital Library of Georgia; Georgia Newspaper Project
    • Contributing Institution
    • Georgia Newspaper Project

  • News of the case traveled across the US, as is shown by the front page of the Bryan Daily Eagle and Pilot, from Bryan, Texas, on August 26, 1913.

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    The Bryan Daily Eagle and Pilot (Bryan, Tex.), Vol. 18, No. 235, Ed. 1 Tuesday, August 26, 1913
    • Date
    • 1913-08-26
    • Creator
    • Buchanan, A. J.
    • Description
    • Daily newspaper from Bryan, Texas that includes local, state, and national news along with advertising. Six pages : ill. ; page 22 x 15 in. Digitized from 35 mm. microfilm.
    • Rights
    • The contents of The Portal to Texas History (digital content including images, text, and sound and video recordings) are made publicly available by the collection-holding partners for use in research, teaching, and private study. For the full terms o... more
      The contents of The Portal to Texas History (digital content including images, text, and sound and video recordings) are made publicly available by the collection-holding partners for use in research, teaching, and private study. For the full terms of use, see https://texashistory.unt.edu/terms-of-use/ less
    • Partner
    • The Portal to Texas History
    • Contributing Institution
    • UNT Libraries.

  • Front page of Athens Banner, announcing end to trial of Leo Frank. Courtesy of the Georgia Newspaper Project via Digital Library of Georgia.

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    Athens banner (Athens, Ga. : 1902), Aug. 26, 1913
    • Date
    • 1913-08-26
    • Creator
    • Athens Banner
    • Description
    • Front Page of Athens Banner, Announcing End to Trial of Leo Frank
    • Rights
    • Courtesy of the Georgia Newspaper Project via Digital Library of Georgia. This item is in the public domain.
    • Partner
    • Digital Library of Georgia; Georgia Newspaper Project
    • Contributing Institution
    • University of Georgia. Libraries

Conviction and Sentence

In final arguments, solicitor Hugh M. Dorsey—in support of the prosecution—painted Frank as a Jekyll and Hyde figure. Conversely, the defense team of Reuben Arnold and Luther Rosser claimed Frank was an honest, upstanding citizen who was a victim of anti-Semitism, and emphasized that the real perpetrator was Jim Conley.

Dorsey had the last word, and with it he destroyed Frank’s character and portrayed Phagan as a symbol of lost innocence. By referring to great Jewish historic figures in his closing statements, he deflected charges of anti-Semitism and asserted that Frank’s deviant behavior dishonored the Jewish people and the girl he was accused of brutally murdering. Dorsey’s words were relayed to the crowd outside and greeted with thunderous applause.

Before the verdict was read, Judge Roan consulted Frank’s attorneys. Fearing mob violence if the jury acquitted Frank, they mutually agreed neither they nor Frank should be in court when the decision was read out. The jury deliberated less than two hours before returning a guilty verdict. When Dorsey emerged from the courthouse, he was cheered and carried on the shoulders of the crowd. Informed of the verdict, Frank again proclaimed his innocence.

Judge Roan sentenced Frank to hang.