Darrow, Clarence

Please post your comments and suggestions for this article.

Comment by Andy Bradbury on October 28th, 2009 at 4:04 am

This statement, from the first paragraph, is incorrect:

‘… defending John T. Scopes in the so-called “Monkey” Trial (1925), in which he opposed the famous prosecutor William Jennings Bryan …’

It is wrong because Darrow was not opposed to William Jennings Bryan, he was “opposed” to the State of Tennessee. Or perhaps to Tom Stewart, the prosecuting attorney. But Darrow was no more “opoosed” to Bryan, in the legal sense, than he was to Ben Mckenzie, Sue Hicks or any other member of the prosecution team.

In fact William Jennings Bryan wasn’t even a prosecutor, he and his son, along with several other members of the team, were volunteer assistant prosecutors.

As for being a “famous prosecutor”, I’m afraid that if that is meant literally then it is way off the facts. When he took part in the Scopes Trial, Bryan hadn’t worked as an attorney for something like 30 (thirty) years. And whilst he was a fully qualified lawyer, he hadn’t been active in the profession for very long when he was a practicing lawyer.

Of course you may have meant that “the prosecutor, William Jennings Bryan, was a well-known figure”. But again, since Bryan wasn’t the prosecutor that wouldn’t be true either.

Comment by Jennifer Tanabe on October 28th, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Thank you for your feedback. I have modified the text to address the problems you noted. Thank you again for helping to improve the New World Encyclopedia.

Comment by Andy Bradbury on January 16th, 2014 at 6:51 am

I’m afraid I have another comment of a critical nature. You claim that:

“Clarence Darrow was a sensation of his times. Some said they had not seen anyone as Christ-like while watching him defend those who seemed defenseless. He was not well educated, though he was very knowledgeable and intelligent. Few could pass the bar and become a lawyer after only one year of formal education.”

Surely a serious information site like yours should beware of using phrases like “some said” if you are not able to be specific about who these “some” were, and without a reference.
On the subject of being “Christ-like”, are you aware that Darrow was a religious bigot and would likely have regarded this as an insult? Not to mention the stark contrast between this comment and Darrow’s views in favour of the killing of all infants deemed to be “unfit”.

Likewise you might want to check Darrow’s educational background more thoroughly and then rewrite those last two sentences. Because Darrow’s nickname was “Old Necessity”, derived from the epigram “Necessity knows no law”!

May I respectfully suggest that a visit to this page:


which provides this and similar information, with references.

Best wishes

Andy Bradbury

Comment by Jennifer Tanabe on January 16th, 2014 at 11:39 am

Thank you, Andy, for your valuable feedback. The article will be revised appropriately.

Leave a Reply

return to top