Stephen Sachs, Prosecutor of Catonsville Nine Activists, Dies At 87


Stephen H. Sachs, prosecutor of the Catonsville 9 anti-Vietnam Struggle protestors, died Jan. 12, 2022 at age 87.

Born in Baltimore in 1934, he graduated from Haverford School in Pennsylvania and served within the U.S. Military from 1955-57. Following within the footsteps of his father Leon, director of the Baltimore Jewish Council and a famend arbitrator, Sachs studied regulation at Yale and have become a regulation agency companion.

In 1967, he was appointed U.S. lawyer for Maryland in 1967 by President Lyndon B. Johnson and rose to fame the subsequent yr for prosecuting the Catonsville 9, a bunch of Catholic antiwar activists who stormed a Selective Service workplace in Maryland and burned draft information.

Though Sachs empathized with the activists, he careworn that their perception in their very own righteousness didn’t justify breaking the regulation. “One can imagine, as I do, that the 9 have been women and men of conviction and braveness. And likewise imagine, as I do, that they dishonored a cardinal American worth,” he wrote in a 2018 op-ed within the Baltimore Solar. 

“The self-righteous presumption of the 9 that they deserved acquittal as a result of they have been ‘proper’ additionally fractured a central worth of the American democracy,” he wrote, including that the First Modification “teaches that nobody man or girl, nobody sect, nobody political occasion, no true believer, no zealous partisan, no ideologue – nobody has a nook on the reality, a pipeline to God. The distinguished federal decide Discovered Hand could have put it finest: ‘The spirit of liberty,’ he stated, ‘is the spirit which isn’t too positive that it’s proper.’ There’s a modesty, a humility, on this maxim.”

“Respect for the regulation is what retains this nation collectively. So subsequently I can’t settle for individuals who violate the regulation, even when their motives are, to them not less than, pure,” Sachs later stated.

Sachs served as Maryland Lawyer Normal from 1979 to 1987. He then joined a Washington regulation agency and retired in 2000.

Remembering his legacy, Maryland Lawyer Normal Brian E. Frosh, quoted in The Washington Publish, stated, “I contemplate him of the best attorneys basic of Maryland.” V

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