Stokes’s third trial commences a month into the panic, and with the papers filled with dreadful economic news, it draws far less attention than the first and second trials. The primary novel evidence is a statement by a witness the defense has found who says he saw a pistol in Fisk’s hand at the time of the shooting. The prosecution challenges the statement—Why has the witness surfaced only now? Why can’t he remember more details of the event?—but in other respects the trial tracks the two previous ones.

The jury this time, more carefully charged than the last, yields a verdict finally favorable, in a comparative sense, to Stokes. He is convicted of manslaughter in the third degree rather than murder in the first. The sentence is four years in prison rather than death.

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