Defending the Innocent

On May 2, 1962, a strange advertisement appeared in an American newspaper – the San Francisco Examiner. The ad read:

“I don’t want my husband to die in the gas chamber for a crime he did not commit. I will therefore offer my services for ten years as a cook, maid, or housekeeper to any leading attorney who will defend him and bring about his vindication.”  

One of San Francisco’s most famous attorneys, Vincent Hallinan, either read or heard about the ad and contacted Gladys Kidd, the woman who had placed it. Her husband, Robert Kidd, was about to be tried for the killing of an elderly antique dealer. Kidd’s fingerprints had been found on the murder weapon – a bloodstained ornamental sword in the victim’s shop.

During the trial, Vincent Hallinan – the famous lawyer – proved that the antique dealer hadn’t even been killed with that sword, and that Kidd’s fingerprints were on the sword because Kidd had inspected the sword a few weeks before the murder when he was out shopping.

At the conclusion of the trial the jury found Robert Kidd not guilty.

It was Robert Kidd’s desperate wife Gladys who did whatever she could to secure a top class advocate and gain her husband’s freedom – even being willing to work for nothing for ten years.

In the same way we have Jesus Christ who did whatever He could to secure our spiritual freedom. His sacrifice was to become one of us, and then die on a cross in order that you and I might have eternal life.

The Bible says: If anyone has sinned – we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is our sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.” (1 John 2:1-2)

By the way, the lawyer in the story – Attorney Hallinan – refused Gladys Kidd’s offer of ten years’ servitude. Just like the fact Jesus requires nothing from us to benefit from His sacrifice – only that you simply place your faith in who He is: the Saviour of the world.

Vincent Hallinan once ran for the office of President of the U.S.A.



About this blog: Pastor David Riley is a minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and lives on the Gold Coast in Australia. This article is from his “Reverential Ramblings” series – which you can subscribe to by clicking “follow” on this website.

Want to read more inspirational stories of faith from this series? Click here to read of one man’s sacrifice on the Kwai River in Burma.David speaking 2