David Herold's Murder

981 Words4 Pages
No one deserves to die, and no one deserves death. Some executions are justified, but David Herold’s was not. Herold was a skilled and talented man who was deprived into a corner to help a killer. James L. Swanson’s novel, Chasing Lincoln 's Killer, a diary entry, “Last Diary Entry of John Wilkes Booth,” and an article, “Lincoln Writ of Liberty” contain evidence that proves Herold’s innocence. Herold did help a murderer; however, he is like everyone, in that he is susceptible to violent threats. For this reason, Herold did not deserve a conviction with a capital sentence; the punishment was far too severe, and does not fit the crime. Herold’s actions are understandable; he was stressed to Booth out of fear and pressure from him, he didn’t…show more content…
At that time, information was the most important, and skill was the utmost of importance, and Herold could do all of that, he was a outdoorsman, a hunter, and even a river boatman. “But Herold was all of those things, and that’s why Booth chose him, above all others, to be his guide,” (Swanson 74). Herold was a warrior of the forest, knowing how to survive in the wild, knowing where to hide, and doing the right things to survive. He was probably the one that assisted Booth the most on this trip, keeping him secured and doing what he knew best to endure the manhunt. David Herold was a genius compared to people around that time, and it was obvious that he was a valuable companion that Booth got. Although Herold was the perfect man for the wilderness, he only did so little. Anyone could’ve done what he did, another hunter even, like him. Plus, Herold was not given a fair trial, the Union assumed that if Herold was with Booth the whole 12 days of the chase, he was guilty and was hanged, he definitely has the right of habeas corpus. “...legal concept that empowers judges to order imprisoned persons to be brought to court to determine if they are being legally held,” from an article “Lincoln and the “Writ of Liberty””, showing how Herold could have lived. Herold had the brains but it is undeniable that he did it against his own will. He was introduced to Booth by John Surratt and was invited to do the job, because he knew the lands so well. Once again, near the end of John Wilkes Booth’s, he went against him and left him to die. This should prove that Herold was never on his side to begin with, and should be set
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