Standing at the grave of the executed killer he had represented in court in 1897, Charles Phillip Johnson felt moved to speak. He hadn’t planned to and his words formed no eulogy for the man being buried that day. But his impromptu speech at graveside is considered by some to be a classic on justice, especially when conditions of the day were considered.He had been a lawyer for 40 years by then and was known as a man unafraid to speak his mind. Johnson was an Illinois native who at 19, had already been a newspaper editor for two years before he took up the study of law. Just four years later he became city attorney in St. Louis.

AOWM January 18, 2005