Baraga Circuit Court, L’Anse, Michigan
Elizabeth Clark has always maintained her innocence right up to the day she died, Ina Wireman has recovered the Court documents from this historic case, and we were not really surprised by what we found. She was clearly railroaded through the system as Ina has suspected based on everything she already knew and all of the research that we had performed to date. But Lets get all of these documents posted so that everyone can reach their own conclusion. This is the first in a series of documents that we will be posted. All documents will be scanned in and posted, while some like this one will also be transcribed when time permits for easier reading. In a nutshell, this document summarizes her injustice.
After 18 years of imprisonment, Elizabeth Clark was finally able to get an attorney to submit
her case to the Courts in order to have her sentence overturned. The Request was ultimately denied in 1951 for reasons we simply don’t agree with. That information will be forthcoming.
On September 13th, 1949 Elizabeth Clark Morrow, also known as Elizabeth Ziolkowski
submitted a notarized affidavit to the Circuit Court in located in Baraga. The affidavit was
drawn up by her attorney and signed in the Detroit area, where she was serving a life
sentence of Hard Labor at the Detroit House of Corrections, which was the only prison
in the state that provided imprisonment of women in Michigan at the time of her sentencing in 1933.
Transcribed By: Joe Morrow
Document Recovery: Ina Wireman
AFFIDAVIT OF ELIZABETH ZIOLKOWSKI
State of Michigan
County of Wayne SS:
ELIZABETH ZIOLKOWSKI, being first duly sworn, deposes and
says the following:
- That she was convicted of murder in the first degree on her plea of guilty entered by her counsel, Charles D. Olivier, since deceased, in January, 1933 before the Honorable John G. Stone, Circuit Judge for Baraga County, Michigan;
- That at the time said plea was made, your deponent did not understand what the nature of the proceedings was nor what was taking place at the time that the plea was entered in her behalf;
- That your deponent was possessed of the meager-est education and her understanding of the English language was commensurate with said education at the time of her trial;
- That her language was French Canadian;
- That during the entire proceedings shown by the transcript taken on January 10, 1933 not one word was spoken by this deponent;
- That a statement or confession purported to have been made by this deponent in the presence of Fred Enius was obviously the language of one other than this deponent;
- That said statement shows that the deceased had violent pains in his stomach for sometime prior to his demise;
- That arsenate of lead was frequently taken and always prepared by the deceased, but never administered by the deponent nor prepared by her;
- Deponent further says that she knows of her own knowledge that the deceased had a social disease, and that said deceased did not want the information to be disseminated that he was so afflicted, and therefore, preferred to use his own medication, to-wit: aresate of lead, which he brought to their home and prepared for such purpose;
- Deponent further says that immediately after the deceased took arsenate of lead, his stomach pains invariably diminished temporarily;
- Deponent further says that shed did not understand the consequences of her plea of guilty, nor was any explanation made to her of such consequences;
- Deponent further states she never made any plea of guilty, nor did she understand that one was being made in her behalf;
- Deponent further states that no such plea was entered by her freely and voluntarily, nor did she ever authorize her counsel to enter such a plea in her behalf;
- Deponent further states that she never understood that she was entitled to a jury trial, and that if said jury found her guilty she could receive no more penalty than she would by a plea of guilty to murder in the first degree;
- That the difference between first degree murder, second degree murder and manslaughter was never explained to her;
- Deponent further states that she believes and so states the truth to be that she has a meritorious defense to the charge;
- Deponent further states that justice requires that a new trial be given in order to afford her the opportunity to make such defense before a properly constituted court;
And further deponent saith not.
______Mrs. Elizabeth Ziolkowski__(signature)___
Elizabeth Ziolkowski – Deponent
Subscribed and sworn to before me
this 13 day of Sept, A.D. 1949
Mona L Burrows (signature)
Notary Public, Wayne County, Mich.
My comm. exp. 12-18-51