Damn are there any real ladies in Cheyenne Wyoming

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On May 9,a court in Green RiverWyo. Long's attorney, Walter Muir Sr. Did some men expect more lenient verdicts from all-male juries?

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Apparently so. For the past 80 years, they had been enjoying this bias, whether perceived or real, but now the fun was over. With one minor exception, an civil case in the Bighorn Basin town of Bonanza, Wyo. Members of the jury, which included six women, chose Louise Spinner Graf as their foreman, making her almost certainly the first woman in Wyoming, after statehoodto hold that office. Wyoming's territorial government had paved the way on Dec. John Campbell ed into law the bill granting women the right to vote and to hold public office. Jury duty followed soon after the woman suffrage law when early in Territorial Chief Justice John Howe called women to serve.

Martha Boies of Laramie was the first female bailiff, and Amalia Post of Cheyenne was the first woman jury foreman.

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Recollections of Sarah Wallace Pease, another of the early woman jurorswere published in Pease wrote that Howe and his associate justices wanted female jurors because "hitherto they had been unsuccessful in securing juries that would convict well-known guilty criminals. The Judge believed that women serving on the juries would remedy this flagrant evil, and inaugurate a better condition of things. Reporters and artists from leading periodicals flocked to Laramie from all over the nation to view the novelty.

The grand jury on which Pease served included six women. The panel met in Laramie for three weeks, considering several murder cases as well as horse and cattle theft. In its most unpopular decision, that jury enforced the law requiring saloons to close on Sunday.

Women also served on petit juries for three terms of court, convicting murderers and thieves, until Howe retired in September His successors opposed female jurors. Inthe Sept. Collins vs. Minnie Whittington. After this, the issue of female jurors appears to have lain dormant in Wyoming until Meanwhile, other states were admitting women to jury service, with Utah leading in By40 states, including Wyoming, allowed or required female jurors. Byonly six states were still holding out. A federal court decision inruling that both racial and gender distinctions in state juries were unconstitutional, forced these six to capitulate.

Mississippi was last, in On Feb. Arthur G. Crane ed House Bill No. Frank Mockler, Fremont Countyand Madge Enterline, Natrona Countyit was supported by many women's organizations throughout the state. Effective Jan. The bill also stated that a juror must be "[i]n possession of his or her natural faculties.

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Despite this clear language, in February a defense attorney questioned it in a case pending in Albany County, in which Francis K. Yazzie was charged with criminal assault. Yazzie's attorney claimed that female jurors were ineligible because the legislation was invalid until the state constitution was amended. This question moved quickly to the Wyoming Supreme Court, which ruled on May 5,that the statute was sufficient, with no need to change the constitution. Subsequently, State vs.

Yazzie was dismissed due to the disappearance of witnesses, but the trial of Otto Long opened in Sweetwater County only three days later. Women began to serve on juries throughout other parts of Wyoming as well. Graf's father, Karl Spinner Jr. The couple traveled to Green River, arriving on June 1 of that year, and lived there for the rest of their lives. Their daughter Louise was born in Green River on March 2, Majoring in ing at the University of Wyoming, she returned to Green River after graduating and worked at the First National Bank and later at the State Bank of Green River, where she was the first female assistant cashier in their history.

On June 14,she married George J. Graf, of Arvada, Colo. For most of his career he worked in Rock SpringsWyo. The couple had one daughter, Mary Louise. Graf ed the Woman's Club in Green River inserving as treasurer and auditor. She became an associate member of the Girl Scouts of America inand was involved for more than 30 years. She and her husband also organized and worked for the Sweetwater County Fair, and helped to start the Sweetwater County Historical Society. Louise served on the first executive board in A longtime member of the Wyoming State Historical Society, Graf wrote papers about many of her community activities, including the details of her jury service.

Commenting on the evidence in the Long case, Graf observed, "[I]t seemed that there were two fellows coming from Rock Springs and they had been drinking, and they stopped halfway between here and Rock Springs and got out of the car. And one shot the other, and killed him. As with any other jury, the members were isolated from the public.

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He was from Rock Springs. About packing her suitcase. He had told her to tell them that she did not believe in capital punishment. And she didn't do it. And she was chosen. He was just that mad that she was on that jury. The of the "woman jury experiment" were unsurprising: Good female jurors, like good male jurors, are conscientious and committed to justice.

There are also bad jurors of both sexes. This was probably well known back in by the time the first female jurors served in Wyoming Territory. Pease commented that the criminals and their supporters found "many ready to reassure them that they had nothing to fear, for women were chicken-hearted, and their tender feelings could easily be wrought upon.

Beginning incourt after court in Wyoming seated female jurors, with the first all-woman jury serving in Cody in January The comments of Wyoming judges and attorneys were uniformly positive. Justice Glenn Parker, who presided at the Long trial and later served on the Wyoming Supreme Court, stated, "I feel that the administration of justice in the State of Wyoming has been improved.

Layman of Sheridan reported that, "The fact that none of my [mixed male and female] juries were out an unreasonable length of time le me to believe that women are just as willing as men to reconcile and compromise differences of opinion for the sake of reaching a just and fair verdict.

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Louise Spinner Graf lived to be 93, dying on Oct. Her service as, apparently, the first female jury foreman since Wyoming territorial days remains an important milestone in the history of the state. The Sweetwater County Historical Museum is planning an exhibit and will partner with the University of Wyoming ; the Sesquicentennial Colorado River Exploring Expeditiona new boat trip of artists and scholars down the Green and Colorado rivers; the City of Green River ; the Green River Chamber of Commerce and other organizations to host a series of teacher trainings, a Saturday University, a modern expedition launch and family oriented activities on Mayat Expedition Island.

At the museum, a person can pick up a brochure published by the City of Green River for directions to historic buildings and saloons, Union Pacific Railroad facilities, and even haunted houses. The museum includes a large collection of coal mining artifacts and coal-mine-related historic photos. FMI: Home Encyclopedia. Rebecca Hein. Woman jurors in Wyoming Territory Wyoming's territorial government had paved the way on Dec. Wyoming's Woman Jury bill On Feb. Louise Spinner Graf, jury foreman "[The jury] said that we should have a woman foreman," Louise Spinner Graf reminisced 25 years after the conviction of Otto Long.

Resources Primary Sources Barton, Bill. Accessed Sept.

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Also in Wyoming Blue Book, Vol. Cheyenne, Wyo. Parker, Glenn. Pease, Sarah Wallace. History of Jury Service for Women. Thermopolis, Wyo, Wyoming Blue Book, Vol. Wyoming Business and Professional Women's Clubs. Wyoming Newspapers.

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Harrison, Cynthia. Hein, Rebecca. Larson, T. History of Wyoming. Lincoln, Neb. Rea, Tom. Thompson, D. Whittenberg, Clarice. Used with permission and thanks. Field Trips. Sweetwater County Historical Museum.

Damn are there any real ladies in Cheyenne Wyoming

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