On September 11, 1857, over 120 migrants on their way from Arkansas to California hid in a haphazardly constructed wagon fort in southern Utah. They feared that local Paiutes were going to renew attacks against them. Having spent four days under siege, they were relieved by the sight of Mormon leader John D. Lee, the “spiritual son” of Brigham Young, and four dozen local militiamen approaching their fort. Waving a white flag of truce, Lee promised the migrants safe passage out of Utah. Salvation seemed close, at least until they heard Lee’s terms. In return for the militia’s help, Lee asked the migrants to leave behind their cattle and other belongings, pile all of their weapons into a wagon and march out with the women and children in the lead and the men following behind. Although the migrants feared a trap, they had little choice.
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).