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Bridget Kennedy, 1882, sentenced to 49 years, beats the rap

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Bridget Kennedy, 1882, sentenced to 49 years, beats the rap

Posted: 16 Aug 2013 9:14PM GMT
Classification: Biography
Edited: 29 Aug 2013 5:17PM GMT
In 1880, a James and Bridget Kennedy lived on Green St. in Rutland with their 10-year-old son Miles.

December 12, 1882.
Lockport Daily Journal.
Heavy Sentence.
Rutland, Vt., Dec. 12 – The police court has sent Mrs. Bridget Kennedy to the house of correction for nearly 50 years for illegally selling liquor. She was convicted on 295 complaints, and was unable to pay her fines.

Dec. 13, 1882.
Vermont Watchman & State Journal.
Bridget Kennedy or Rutland, charged with dealing in rum, was found guilty Thursday of 295 first offenses, the penalty for which is a fine of $5,900 and one month imprisonment. Bridget cannot pay her fine or get bail and has been taken to jail. She may spend half a century at the house of correction.

December 13, 1882.
The Daily News, Batavia, NY.
The Police Court in Rutland, Vt., has sent Mrs. Bridget Kennedy of that place to the House of Corrections for a term of nearly fifty years for illegally selling liquor. She was convicted of 295 complaints and was unable to pay the fines.

December 20, 1882.
Madison Observer, NY.
The Police Court in Rutland bas sent Mrs. Bridget Kennedy of that place to the House of Correction for a term of nearly fifty years. She was convicted on 295 complaints, and, being unable to pay the aggregate dues and costs, that sentence was imposed upon her.

December 23, 1882.
Troy Daily Times.
Rutland, Vt. – James Kennedy, the husband of Bridget Kennedy who was recently sentenced to forty-nine years in the house of correction for non-payment of fine for selling liquor, (being three times as many days as dollars of fine and costs,) has likewise been found guilty by a jury of 135 first offenses for selling liquor. His fine amounted to about $1,400, and not being able to pay, he received the alternative sentence to the house of correction of about eleven years.

January 27, 1883.
Troy Daily Times.
R u t l a n d , Vt.—The supreme court heard yesterday the habeas corpus petitions of Patrick Ready, Bridget Kennedy, James Kennedy, her husband, and John Holmes, who are in the house of correction for selling liquor on sentences of from five months to forty-nine years. The court reserved its decision for consultation, as the cases present some interesting questions of constitutional law.

January 30, 1883.
Troy Daily Times.
The Vermont Liquor Laws Fail to Work-
Prisoners Released.
Our Rutland correspondent writes:
James Kennedy, who had been sentenced by a justice of the peace to about eleven years in the house of correction for non-payment of fines for liquor selling, the sentence being one day for each thirty-three cents of fine; Bridget Kennedy, his wife, under similar sentence, for about forty-nine years, and Pat. Ready, under similar sentence, for about thirty-five years, were all released Monday afternoon by the supreme court on a habeas corpus. Respondents had been convicted of a great number of offenses, but claimed an appeal to the county court. Being unable to furnish the large bail, which was fixed a little higher than the amount of the fine and costs, they were denied appeals by the justice, because the statute required bail and made no provision for keeping the appellants in jail till the appeal could be heard when the bail cannot be furnished. Judge Powers announced the decision of the supreme court, holding that appeals should have been allowed and the respondents kept in jail till the appeals were heard by the county court, and that the justice having denied the appeal because bail was not furnished had in effect denied the right of trial by a jury of twelve men, which could have been had in the county court, which right to be tried by a jury of twelve men is guaranteed by the constitution. James and Bridget Kennedy also prayed for writs of certiorari to quash the proceedings before the justice. Certiorari is a novel proceeding in Vermont, and grave doubts were had whether it would lie, but the court held it would lie in criminal cases, and quashed the justice proceeding. John Holmes's petition for a habeas corpus was denied, the only question being whether the mittimus was correct in form.

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