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Synopsis

"That an innocent girl has been done to death," said the Advocate, "is most unfortunately true, and as true that a man who inspires horror is charged with her murder. You have been told that you have but to glance at him to assure yourself of his guilt. These are lamentable words to be used in an argument of accusation. The facts that the victim was of attractive, and that the accused is of repulsive appearance, should not weigh with you, even by a hair's weight, to the prejudice of the prisoner. If it does, I call upon you to remember that justice is blind to external impressions. And moreover, if in your minds you harbour a feeling such as exists outside this court against the degraded creature who stands before you, I charge you to dismiss it.


"All the evidence presented to you which bears directly upon the crime is circumstantial. A murder has been committed--no person saw it committed. The last person proved to have been in the murdered girl's company, is Gautran, her lover, as he declares himself to have been.


"And here I would say that I do not expect you to place the slightest credence upon the statements of this man. His unblushing, astonishing falsehoods prove that in him the moral sense is deadened, if indeed it ever existed. But his own statement that, after the manner of his brutal nature, he loved the girl, may be accepted as probable. It has been sufficiently proved that the girl had other lovers, who were passionately enamoured of her. She was left to herself, deprived of the protection and counsel of a devoted woman, who, unhappily, was absent at the fatal crisis in her life. She was easily persuaded and easily led. Who can divine by what influences she was surrounded, by what temptations she was beset, temptations and influences which may have brought upon her an untimely death?

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