Sick Widow Jailed for Whiskey in Room

Mrs. Julia (Mary) Hansen was a widow. She was struggling to support her 9 year old daughter when the “purity squad” raided her home in Utah.  Even though she had been sick in bed for six days they would not believe her when she told them she had no idea how a half pint of whiskey had gotten into her room. 

Julia Hansen Pardon Letter


They wouldn’t believe her and so they hauled the sick woman off to jail leaving her crying daughter behind.

Without benefit of a jury trial of her peers, Julia was convicted of having liquor and sent to prison for six months. 

Fortunately, Royal J. Douglas, a Utah attorney, happened to visit one of his clients who was also in prison.  He heard that Julia needed his help and stopped by her cell to talk to her about her situation.

It only took a few minutes for Royal to identify a clear miscarriage of justice that put Julia behind bars.  Upon his arrival back at his office, Royal immediately created a request for the pardon of Julia and sent it to the Utah State Board of Pardons.

Julia Hansen Pardon Request


Would they respond to the request and release Julia from prison?  Apparently not.  Two weeks later, Royal sent a letter to the Board that explained Julia’s situation, the dire condition of her daughter.  He did not proclaim the original judge to be crazy but he did explain the case in simple terms that any reasonable person could understand.

Julia Hansen Pardon Request Letter

Julia Hansen Pardon Request Letter


Was Julia released?  I don’t know.  Do you?  I certainly hope she was released and was able to not only go home but to have a successful life and raise her daughter to be a fine woman.

Copyright (c) Lee Drew 2012-05-03 08:00:00
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