Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"The truth will set you free"

Every year for more than 50 years they have gathered on the morning of March 13 to remember Clarence Darrow, one of the greatest lawyers and civil libertarians in American history.

An eclectic group of students, lawyers, activists and politicians stand on a bridge overlooking the Jackson Park lagoon and urge support for causes Darrow held dear. Though he had promised to return to this site on this date — the anniversary of his death — his ghost has not appeared in the 73 years since his passing.

His spirit, however, is an entirely different matter. Darrow devotees swore they felt his presence at Sunday's gathering, which took place just a few days after Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation abolishing the death penalty — an issue Darrow championed nearly a century ago.

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