Sentence of a murderer.
, the murderer of Crawford
, was sentenced in Philadelphia
, on Monday last, to death.
The prisoner had maintained the most extraordinary calmness during the trial.
The American says:
When directed to prepare for his visit to the Court
-room he wore an air of entire indifference, though virtually he has admitted his complicity in the murder in half a dozen indirect ways.
He nerved himself, therefore, for the conflict, and passed from his cell into the van as though he was but the creature of circumstances, over which he had never a whit of control.
They took him to the Quarter Sessions
room, where but a few people were assembled; yet the tidings were soon circulated, and for every person who told them there was soon a score about the building.
The father and relatives of the prisoner were there, and, when the turnkey seated him in the dock, they withdrew to the benches at some distance and gloomily looked upon his face.
of yesterday, however, was the same Armstrong
who serenely testified over the corpse of poor Crawford
at the Coroner
's inquest; who looked with unflinching eye upon the jury who found him guilty; who, with curled lip, threw his contemptuous glance at the silent concourse of people who then gazed at him form the crowded benches of the Court
There he sat, not un-expectant of what was to come, but nerved from the blow, as the pugilist braces himself against the expected onslaught of his adversary.
There was no fear depicted upon his countenance, but beneath his lower lip was the imprint of his upper teeth and in the depths of his soul it could be seen there was then raging a tempest of remorse, of haired, and of passion — visible still more palpably when, after the dread penalty was pronounced, the miserable man denied his guilt, and called upon his Maker to register the denial.
During the time that the Judge
was speaking there was a silence in the Court
-room that nothing but the clatter in the streets prevented from being painful, yet to anybody but an expert the face of Armstrong
was the face of the man least interested in the proceedings of all that were present in the throng.
When asked why the dread sentence should not be pronounced he rose in his seat, and-- this time spasmodically — made a speech.--Even in this speech he again subverted, by an acknowledgment, the strongest point taken in his defence.
He acknowledged that he had pilfered from his employer, and claimed that Crawford
encouraged him to do it, by purchasing the results of his peculations.
And, to crown all, when the sentence was pronounced, he cried out clearly and strongly, "Take my life, but you cannot take my conscience!
I am innocent."
There was a sensation in the Court
-room, as the man burst into this exclamation, and a few of the females present melted into tears.
The brother and father of the prisoner sat apparently as unmoved as ever.
Like to the prisoner, they evidently possess a wonderful mastery over the emotions.
When the sentence was finished, and Judge Allison
had taken his seat, they silently glided toward the prisoner, and bending over the railing conversed with him for a few minutes.
There was no faltering in their words, no hesitancy in his — no tears, no apparent anguish, and when the officers came to remove him, the father bowed his head and closed his eyes, until his guilty son had crossed the threshold and was gone.