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A R G U M RE NT -OFF- HON. HENRY L. STONE, DELAVERED BEFORE THE JURY MAY 20TH, 21ST, AND 24TH, i88o, m BEHALF OF TRlE DEFENDANT, AT LOUISVILLE, ON THE TRIAL OF THE GREAT LIBEL SUIT OF R z3qi2 vs A tCZSt'. May it Please the Couzrt: Gentlemen of t/e Jes: I must compliment you for the patience you have shown in the progress of this long and laborious trial. I regret that it becomes my duty to still -further tax your patience. You have doubtless already discovered that an excellent opportunity is afforded plaintiff's counsel, in the discussion of this case, to vent their malice against Judge Hargis. You have just had an example of that character in the speech of Mr. Larewv, the gentleman.who last addressed you in plaintiff's behalf. I shall have occasion, as I proceed, to refer to some of his remarks, and the points he attempted to make upon the testimony. Before entering into the discussion of the evidence bearing on the main issues, I desire to call your attention to some of the events which immediately preceded the institution of this suit.' From the record we learn that on the 26th day of March, 1879, Hon. John M. Elliott, one of the Judges of the Court of Appeals of Ken- tucky, was shot down in the streets of Frankfort by an assassin. His tragic death sent a thrill of horror throughout the Commonwealth. His life was taken for no imaginable cause other than his faithful discharge of official duty in rendering a decision adverse to his slayer. Wherever known, Judge Elliott was beloved. In his death his wife lost an affec- tionate husband, and his State a pure and upright Judge. Thirty days afterwards the defendant, Hon. Thomas F. Hargis, then Judge of the Criminal Court in the Fourteenth Judicial District, was nom- inated at Owingsville to fill the vacancy on the appellate bench, by the accredited delegates of the Democratic party, from the forty counties composing the First Appellate District. On the 12th day of May fol- lowing, at the special election held under the Governor's proclamation, the defendant was elected over his opponent, Hon. William H. Holt, a popular and talented Republican lawyer of Mt. Sterling, by a majority of 3,555 votes. On the 4th day of June, having received his commis- sion, he was duly qualified as the successor of the lamented Elliott, and entered upon the arduous labors of his high office. But what had occurred in the meantime The defendant, thus chosen, elected, and qualified as one of the supreme judicial officers