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Thursday, November 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Male jurors drink evidence in bootlegging trial

A total of 26 pints of whisky were entered into evidence in a Spokane bootlegging case, but eight of the pints mysteriously disappeared before the trial was over, and women on the jury said men on the jury drank at least some of what was missing, The Spokesman-Review reported on May 22, 1918. (Spokesman-Review archives)
A total of 26 pints of whisky were entered into evidence in a Spokane bootlegging case, but eight of the pints mysteriously disappeared before the trial was over, and women on the jury said men on the jury drank at least some of what was missing, The Spokesman-Review reported on May 22, 1918. (Spokesman-Review archives)

A total of 26 pints of whiskey were entered into evidence in a Spokane bootlegging case, but eight of the pints mysteriously disappeared before the trial was over.

The women jurors said they knew exactly what happened to that whiskey – the male jurors drank it while deliberating.

“We saw the men drink a bottle and half of that liquor, and we certainly objected,” said one of the women. “… We were angry because of the behavior of the men.”

Another bottle was found hidden in the lavatory. Nobody was sure where the rest of it went.

A second woman juror said she felt that a few of the men “had made a grave mistake.”

The foreman of the jury, a man, told the other male jurors not to drink the evidence. However, the others apparently believed they needed to make certain it was really whiskey. A woman juror said they could have just sniffed it.

Despite the fact that the men verified that it was indeed whiskey, the jury found the defendant not guilty.

Also from the bootlegging beat: A Spokane County deputy sheriff was arrested for trying to smuggle 46 pints of booze into Spokane on a Great Northern train. He was arrested by an alert city officer in Hillyard after he saw the deputy leave the train with suspicious packages.

The deputy later claimed he found the booze on the train and was taking it home until he could transport it to the courthouse the next morning.

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