The trial and execution of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti in Massachusetts in the 1920s caused much tension within the United States and around the world. The Italian immigrants were anarchists who were part of a movement that was involved in bomb attacks on the US government. After a controversial trial, many people believed the verdict was because of prejudice and paranoia. Sacco and Vanzetti were convicted in 1921 of murdering two men during a robbery in 1920 in Braintree. For six years the legal struggle continued, but all attempts to gain a new trial were denied. Sacco and Vanzetti were executed on Aug. 23, 1927. The notorious case and its verdict are still debated today.
On July 12, 1921, Vanzetti (left) and Sacco were photographed in the prisoner’s dock in Norfolk Superior Court where they were convicted of first-degree murder. During recesses, the two prisoners would be sequestered in a small room with this mesh and wire partition. LEANNE BURDEN SEIDEL and LISA TUITE