Acquittal of Anti-semitic Murderer May Change Austrian Jury System

The necessity for introducing a change in the Austrian jury system was discussed at the last meeting of the Austrian cabinet. The question came up in connection with the repeated acquittals of self-confessed murderers and particularly in connection with the acquittal of Oscar Poeffl, the killer of the Jewish jouranlist, Bruno Wolff, one of the editors of the “Neues Wimer Journal.” Press and public opinion condemned the verdict as an outrage. The anti-Semitic papers and organizations rallied around Poeffi, who was closely associated with the anti-Semitic movement here, although he, himself, was of Jewish origin, having been baptized as a boy by his parents.

In an official statement issued, it was declared that the cabinet has instructed the Minister of Justice to draft a bill for the abolition of the present jury system and the installation of a jury senate, whereby six jurymen and three judges will have the power of judgment now held by a full jury.

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