National Affairs: Unknown Character

In Chicago last week, Alphonse ("Scarface Al") Capone appeared at the Municipal Courthouse to answer a charge of vagrancy, the antique legal device by which loud Judge John Homer Lyle once hoped to curb the city's banditti (TIME, Oct. 13). The officer who had signed the complaint against Scarface admitted that he did not know him, could not swear that the gangster was without legal means of support or "frequented disreputable resorts."

"Couldn't you find a policeman who knew him?" asked Judge Frank M. Padden of Assistant State's Attorney Harry S. Ditchburne.

"None."

"Couldn't...

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