(Received 8 June 1985; accepted 10 July 1985)
Published Online: 1986
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This paper is the second and concluding segment of a report and analysis of a 1983 reevaluation of the vast array of firearms evidence at the trial of Sacco and Vanzetti. As a backdrop to Part II, the background of the crime and the firearms evidence introduced at the trial of Sacco and Vanzetti was portrayed in Part I. This part seeks to sort out the charges and counter-charges of governmental misconduct or just plain negligence in the care and custody of the firearms evidence. The most often bruited claim that Bullet III (the mortal bullet) was somehow switched or tampered with is analyzed from every conceivable perspective. The author finds that the evidence and the arguments militate against the bullet switching hypothesis. A coda is attached which demonstrates, through the firearms evidence reevaluation, that Sacco can be linked to the crime, and even to the crime scene, through the cartridges found in his possession on his arrest.
Professor of Law and Forensic Sciences, The George Washington University, Washington, DC
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