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Convicting over 3,000 people in a single year in one court-900 or more jury trials—at 14 different courts, with 2 courts of 1 week each twice a year makes 28 weeks of court in the year.

Of course it was crowded. I wish this committee and this Congress could be at Catlettsburg some day on the first day of the Federal court. There are perhaps three to five hundred defendants and 1,000 or 2,000 witnesses in the little courthouse there, in addition to litigants and other people. You can not get into the courthouse. You can hardly get within a block of the courthouse.

I have seen these cases called, fifty or a hundred men lined up. “Mr. Jones” is called. “Mr. Jones, your fine is $50 and 30 days,” “Mr. Blank yours is $100 and 6 months.” I have seen boys 18 years of age and 20 years of age that might have been reclaimed if Judge Cochran and the district attorney had had the time to have looked into every case and perhaps could have recovered them and sent them back home paroled, and things like that.

But that is the situation. Trying 3,000 men and women-convicting that many in a single year. They must clear the dockets. It is the condition there.

Why, up here at London, in my old congressional district, in Mr. Finley's district now, last November over 500 defendants were present. No, more than that perhaps. Five hundred cases in a single term of that court. One hundred men sent to the penitentiary just in a few days. I think if the Wickersham committee made one real constructive suggestion-perhaps it has made many but I have my mind on one, and that is this: You have got to have more courts to be able to look into these things and handle them better and a lot of men who perhaps should go to the penitentiary, because of the urge and the crowd there, plead guilty and are given lighter sentences and a lot of young boys and folks who ought to go back home, perhaps because of the urge and the impossibility of looking into each case to see the human side of it a little bit-cases of people who are too poor to bring their witnesses there perhaps, or too poor to get a lawyer. I have known some of the people in those mountains to walk nearly 50 miles to get to the railroad to go to court.

Some of them say, "Yes; I will go down there and see the district attorney and tell him I could not bring the witnesses, and if he will let me off with a fine of $50 or 30 days in jail, I can do that; but I could not get the lawyer and bring the witnesses. Yes, there ought to be another district there. There ought to be more courts there. Take these great courts to the people.

Of course, to the man who has been brought up in the city, he does not get the viewpoint of the situation; but with the mountain man there, with hardly a dollar's worth of clothes on, when he goes to court way down at Lexington or Louisville or somewhere else, he feels he is a man without a country or anything else. When he gets down there and the jury is to hear him, how many times is he heard by a jury of his section of the country? No. It is the jury of another country, who do not know the man—know nothing about him. Take the courts up there where the men are to be tried by those who know the community and the defendant, and know what weight to give to his statements and to his conduct and to his reputation in the community.

Now here at Richmond is the last court in all this country up here. For some reason, I do not know why, up here at London when they got near the hills they quit establishing any Federal courts. Was it because the lawyers could not go to the hills and they would bring the hills to them? That is what they have been trying to do all these years-bring the hills to the courts and the lawyers.

So you go from London up here to the town of Pineville and then way up here in Harlan County, a county there that is 60 miles long, and there is no communication between here and over yonder because of these mountain ranges in there. Up here, I say, what are they asking to be done? They are asking a court to be established at Pineville for that county up there. It is being developed. It is becoming a great industrial county, produces 20,000,000 tons of soft coal a year. But they must come from way up there to Pineville, change trains and go down to London—another day to get there perhaps, and a day to get back, with witness fees and mileage and all those things. But if the court was up at Pineville, there is a road going up there now. They could come down and the lawyers could come down to Pineville, and the litigants and witnesses, and do their service in the court and return to their homes at night, a saving to the Government, a convenience to the lawyers, a convenience to the litigants, and I think a long step toward real law enforcement.

You know when I had the other bill up, and that got into my craw just a little bit. A certain man who has big interests up in that country there, said: “Mr. Congressman, if you locate this court over here at Williamsburg (that is in your home county, Mr. Finley) instead of at Pineville I will not object to it.” I says, “What is your idea?'' He says, “You know all my concerns up there are nonresident corporations.” He says, “I do not want the court too close to my business up there."

Now, was not that a statement now. And it has been brought out.

Let somebody file suit at Lexington, one of my lawyer friends for one of your great nonresident corporations, testing the title of some little fellow's farm up there in the hill-about 50 acres-and I am telling this committee what is that land worth? Why a lot of it $10 an acre, or $20 an acre is a big price for it. The farmer will say “I can not afford to hire a lawyer and take witnesses down there to prove corners, lines, and things like that," for if he does he will not be there very long before his little farm is used up in lawyers' fees and court costs. I have seen it more than once, gentlemen of the committee, where the little farmer did own it, he would have just said, "I surrender. Take it. I can not go. It is going to cost me more for witnesses and all than it is worth.”

The idea, you know, is that you are going to try it at the first court, and you know how that is not done. Maybe the parties were going to try it at the first court.

At Lexington, when you get from your section there to the Federal court, the criminal side of it, at the last term of the court there at Lexington, one hundred and two or three, or some such number, of men were sent to the penitentiary for violation of the Volstead Act.

Then, over here at Lexington where a lot of these cases drift to, in two courts there nearly 300 men and women were convicted and sent to the penitentiary. What time has a judge got to look after the civil business in those counties?

Down here is the State of Tennessee, which does not have nearly as much business as Kentucky has. Long ago she was given the third

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district. North Carolina-look at the record! Not as much business. Long ago she was given as much court. But one objection and another has appeared here and has blocked the way of giving relief to Kentucky, and to this great eastern section of Kentucky.

I would not take anything from Louisville. I would not take anything from Lexington. I can not think entirely in terms of lawyers and the conveniences of judges. These courts were not created for the convenience of judges or for promoting the prosperity of lawyers. These courts should be created for the people and the people of eastern Kentucky have a right to ample court facilities, conveniently located.

Just a suggestion here. There [showing on map] is the last court in all this country there. It has been suggested that there should be one at Paintsville in Johnson County, and another one at Pikeville, and another one here at Hazard. This is a great country in there [indicating on map], though there is nothing but hills and mountains. Last summer I thought I would go from a place along here (showing] over to Hayden. You could not believe it but until recently—it has not been a year gentlemen-there was not a single buggy in one of those whole counties. No railroad. Now, they have a graded road in there and in the spring time, going to these courts it is impassable. How did I get into this section, from Lexington into Hazard? I got on a mule and it took me a day and a half hard riding to go from Wallings court to the county seat of Lexington county. No road at all. Yes, some of those folks would drag those people that long distance to the railroad and then to come down to Pineville and change up here at London, and bring them down to the railroad and then some other place to Lexington, and so on.

It is not fair, gentlemen. It is not right. I speak with some earnestness and some heat. I have watched and watched during all the years past and gone, the injustices and the unhappy conditions under which thousands and thousands of people have served and they are not bad folks. Listen to me, just a minute. They are not bad folks. One of these counties here had a quota of 500 men in the World War-(Breathitt County)- what happened? They had over 1,100 in the Army and not a man drafted. Yes, they love their country just the same as you and I. And then, when the Union was hanging in the balance, in all this country here there were more men that went into the Union Army to save the Union than there were voters living in that county. And they are entitled to the same equal consideration as the other parts of the State.

I would not take anything away from the other part of this state, not at all. But I would give some relief to this section here.

Now, again I want to call your attention to this: Instead of having to come from that long county down here to London, give them a court at Pineville. It is a beautiful town, splendid folks. Then the next place, Somerset. You see that is not far from London to Somerset, but to get from Somerset to London you have to come way down here (indicating) and it takes you pretty well a day to make the trip. It is 150 miles.

Mr. CHRISTOPHERSON. Is there no road across from one to the other?

Senator ROBSION. No. How is it now? Here is Lexington our friends are pleading for—they want it at Lexington. Why? All that country down here, clear down to the Tennessee line-listen to me—it is more than 50 miles from part of it before you strike any

court at all. Yes; pull these country hill folks 50 miles through the country and bring them to the railroad and then let them ride on the train to London if their cases may be heard. I think it is around 150 miles. And this bill here proposes what? To bring the court to Somerset, right in the middle of that territory and give some relief to those poor people down there.

I make this declaration without fear of successful contradiction: You can establish a new district and the saving in witnesses' fees and in the expenses of marshals and others making long trips and so onexpenses--and your saving, as I say, will amount to thousands of dollars every year.

Then you will bring the courts to the people and these courts are created for the people--not for me, not for me the men that are going to hold office. I believe it will not only help the people but it will help the cause of respect for law and obedience to the law.

Judge Dawson, of west Kentucky, a splendid judge, a splendid man and a capable man. I do not see why it will not help him, because it takes a part of his counties and puts them in this new district.

Mr. THATCHER. Those counties have practically no civil business. They have some criminal business.

Senator Rossion. But he would have something less, would it not?
Mr. THATCHER. Have something less?
Senator ROBSION. He would have something less in his district.

Mr. THATCHER. But it would not relieve the situation like a new judge would relieve it?

Senator Rossion. Yes; but sometimes you know it is hard to keep these judges out of a big town. Do you know that?

Mr. THATCHER. Yes. If you establish a new district you will have the same question to contend with, absolutely. They will select the biggest towns.

Senator Rossion. I will say this that the biggest town up here is not as far from the people as the biggest down a hundred miles or so from here.

Mr. FINLEY. Is it not true, according to your contention, that less than 3 per cent or about 3 per cent of all the criminal convictions in Kentucky last year were at Lexington?

Senator ROBSION. No. I never claimed that the cases arose at Lexington. What I was talking about was these folks pulled a hundred miles or so, or 75 miles or so, and tried.

Mr. FINLEY. How can you try them there? According to the figures, is it not true that a very small percentage of them are convicted there?

Senator Rossion. Your suggestion would be that he go and get a lawyer and make a motion to have his case sent somewhere else, but by the time he gets down there he is so poor all he can do is to plead guilty.

Mr. THATCHER. It is a question of a solution. Of course you think that a new district is the best solution?

Senator ROBSION. Yes, sir.

Mr. Thatcher. Would not a third judge, from your standpointy. be a fair solution even in that country in southeast Kentucky, where courts have to be held, where the people would have to go? You do not have to create a new district for that? You can amend the law.

Senator ROBSION. That is not a solution.

Mr. THATCHER. It helps to relieve the situation, and will relieve it.

Senator ROBSION. No. When you have a new district, you are judge. He studies his district. He studies his people. He gets acquainted with their problems of litigation and so on. He is a fixture there. But you see if there were three judges, you could send any one of them. Perhaps one time they would send Judge Jones; another time they would send Judge Brown; another time send Judge Cochran.

Mr. THATCHER. No. The new judge could be assigned to cover work in the two districts where needed, and the other two judges could sit in their places regularly.

Senator ROBSION. You know how I think that would turn out? We would have one country judge and the others would stay at home, and he would go cruising around.

Mr. THATCHER. You would have the other two judges?

Senator Rossion. Yes; but Governor Thatcher, I know you and the other people here are sincere in what you say, and I hope you will accord me the same liberal judgment. The third judge will not solve the problem. We have the buiness there to justify it. Let me make this suggestion. If one-half of the people or if some lawyer or group of lawyers would get busy and tell every defendant, “You plead not guilty. Let them try you,” you could stop the wheels of justice in eastern Kentucky, in just one week, because you could not begin to give them a jury trial, and I say, with all fairness to this committee, that no court is what an American court ought to be unless every man charged with crime can walk into that court in good faith and say, “I plead not guilty, and I want you to call a jury of my peers and give me a trial,” and whenever you got so many cases, that is, one-half or a third of the people could not have a real jury trial, then you have got conditions there that are intolerable.

I have talked to the district attorney. He has testified here. Many and many times he accepted smaller punishments for guilty men because he knew if the men go to pleading not guilty and demand jury trials they would stop the wheels of the courts.

Mr. CHRISTOPHERSON. I was just going to ask what is your observation as to whether the defendants there are encouraged or forced into pleading guilty in view of the volume of business there? What is the system?

Senator ROBSION. There is undoubtedly no coercion. I am sure that Judge Cochran and Mr. Smith are not coercing any man. But the guilty men know the situation. They go to the district attorney and say, “Here, I will plead not guilty and demand a trial here, "but I am willing to pay so much fine or take so much penalty."

Mrs. LANGLEY. Are not a great many of them afraid of a heavy sentence and afraid to accept the outside arrangement?

Senator ROBSION. Well, those things are in it. But the committee knows. Mr. Bailey Wootten who lives up in that country, says on an average they have six jury trials a day when they are trying cases, and it would have to be higher than that he says. How can a defend ant and his counsel proceed with that deliberation and make inquiries of jurors and so on and dispose of them? You say, of course, they all understand you must hurry up, you must hurry up.” Yes, and I am not criticising the court at all. They are in a situation that they have to hurry up, and when those things are piling up on them and

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