Saved from the Gallows — the Trial of Leopold and Loeb

Was justice served for Bobby Franks? An informative article about the 1924 trial of Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold includes an overview of the murder of Bobby Franks, the defense’s legal strategy, and excerpts of closing arguments from the defendants’ lawyer, Clarence Darrow. A writing assignment prompts readers to write a short editorial from the perspective of a 1920’s journalist that argues whether or not the boys should have received the death penalty.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • Incorporate the resource into a unit on criminal justice or when discussing the death penalty
  • Organize a debate for class members to share their opinions about the case
Classroom Considerations
  • Subject matter may be upsetting for learners; discussion of the death penalty may also be controversial
  • Article is well-written and straightforward
  • Writing assignment connects argument writing and narrative writing
  • None