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Sacco and Vanzetti

[(sak-oh; van-zet-ee)]

Two anarchists (see anarchism), Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, who were convicted of a robbery and two murders in Massachusetts in the early 1920s and sentenced to death. Sacco and Vanzetti were born in Italy but had been living in the United States for years when they were tried. Several faulty procedures took place in the trial. Many people have thought that Sacco and Vanzetti were convicted because of their political views and not because of the evidence against them. Their supporters obtained several delays of their execution, but a special committee appointed by the governor of Massachusetts upheld the original jury's verdict, and they were put to death in 1927. Liberals and radicals all over the world were outraged by the execution.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.