This site last updated March 30, 2012.
Martha Tranquilli at Protest

Martha Tranquilli stops to chat with supporters during a recess at her trial. Dr. Joan Waitkevicz, from New York, takes part in a picket line while Mrs. Crowe (character witness), Joe Tranquilli, and Mr. Crowe (charter witness) stand in the background. Photo by Ed Issa.

wtr court cases—
martha tranquilli

On May 15th, the day of Martha’s sentencing, we entered the courtroom afraid that Judge Keady would follow his reputation and give Martha the fullest possible sentence; six years.

…[T]he Judge began a series of questions which would lead one to think that he would rather have not been in the position in which he found himself. He asked Martha if she was sorry for what she had done and would she “repent.” Martha said “No.” He asked her if she realized that he could give her probation if she would promise not to resist taxes again. “Yes,” Martha said, she realized, but “no,” she would not pay any taxes in the future. He asked her if she were quite sure about that and Martha stated that she was indeed quite sure.

Judge Keady stated that he understood Martha was following a higher law…Then he gave it one more try…Would she stop her tax resistance and pay her taxes in the future? “No, if I said I would, I would be lying…”. “…If you were a man, I'd give you the full sentence,” said Judge Keady. He gave her a nine month sentence in prison and two years probation. Martha has filed an appeal in the Fifth Circuit Appeals Court in New Orleans and is out on her own recognizance pending that appeal.

Click here for complete article

Click here to Return to Historical Gems Page