1880’s justice in Albuquerque

From Albuquerque:  A Narrative History, page 293, by Marc Simmons:

Vigilance committees flourished throughout the American West whenever people lost faith in the normal judicial process.  That was unquestionably the case in Albuquerque, where it was long said that any jury could be bought for $20 and a gallon of whiskey.  C. D. (“Doc”) Favor, a former Albuquerque justice of the peace and part-time undertaker, in an interview given to the Chicago Tribune in 1890, confirmed the unseemly fact.  He told of sitting on the bench a few years earlier when a known horsethief and killer was brought to trial.  Although the evidence for conviction was overwhelming, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty.  Favor, who knew that four of the jurors had been bribed, was on the point of dismissing the case when a violent electrical storm came up.  Suddenly, a bolt of lightning crashed down the chimney, entered the room, and struck the accused dead.  “I had been in New Mexico for five years,” Favor acknowledged solemnly to the Tribune, “yet that was the first time I had ever seen justice meted out in an Albuquerque courtroom.”

(To date, this book is by far the most comprehensive history of Albuquerque I have read.  It’s well worth taking the time to read it.)

I’m having fun–come on along! 

Kathy

Bottger Mansion of Old Town
historic bed & breakfast
110 San Felipe Street NW
Albuquerque, NM   87104
www.bottger.com