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This Day in Norwood History-March 7, 1955-Defense Bans Women Jurors in Murder Trial

YOUTHFUL MURDER DEFENDANT, Peter W. Makarewicz, 15, Norwood, arrives at Dedham Courthouse today for start of his trial. He is charged with slaying young daughter of a neighbor. Holding car Moor open is Edwin Downs, deputy master of the Dedham Jail.

Eleven male jurors were selected by 2:45 this afternoon to hear the case in Norfolk Superior Court of 15-year-old Peter Makarewicz of Norwood, charged with the Nov. 5 murder of vivacious Geraldine Annese, 15, also of Norwood.

It is expected that the entire panel of 12 jurors and two alternates will be completed before today’s session is over and tomorrow the trial will begin in earnest with opening remarks by the state and the defense.

Defense Council Lewis Goldstein said he hoped there would be no women chosen for the jury. “I would have to pull some punches on sex,” he said.

He added that there will be some “blunt sex stuff” introduced into the proceedings and that he would be “personally embarrassed” if women were on the jury.

In addition to his brother, Julius, Goldstein has assisting him two men from his law office, Norman S. Lookner and Maurice Palais.  

At recess time, 37 of the venire of 139 had been called and eight selected.

Eight women were included in this number and all were either challenged or excused by Judge Louis Goldberg when they indicated they were opposed to capital punishment or said they would be embassassed about references to sex during presentation of evidence or during their deliberations.

The defense and the state both have 14 peremptory challenges. So far, the defense has used up seven challenges and the prosecution but two.

At the beginning of the session, Judge Goldberg told the venire. ‘This is likely to be a trial of long duration.”

The jury, once it has been chosen, will be locked up on the second floor of Norfolk Superior Court after their evening meal. Long, orderly rows of beds have been set up for the jurors and they will not be able to communicate with any outsiders.

No provisions have been made for female jurors, and as things turned out there will be no need for them.

Young Makarewicz was led handcuffed into the courtroom by Deputy Mutter of the County Jail Edwin H. Downs. He was then tested in the prisoner’s dock in the middle of the courtroom and the handcuffs removed.

Appears Composed

Peter was attired in a light grey suit, white shirt, and light blue tie and did not appear downcast.

When activities in the courtroom began with a five-minute invocation by Rev Francis D. Taylor. retired minister, Peter paid rapt attention.

Then, all during the seating of the Jurors, he sat with his chin cupped in his hands, paying strict and avid attention to the proceedings.


It was easy to see that the tall, handsome youth, accused of a brutal sex slaying, realized the seriousness of his situation.

Court Clerk Willard A. Neal read the names from the list of the venire which had gathered in another room promptly at 9 a. m.

After the first two prospective jurors were called, Judge Goldberg announced that anyone seated in the courtroom who might be called as a witness in the case would have to leave the room.

Defense counsel Goldstein informed the judge that Peter’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Makarewicz would be called by him to testify.

Parents Leave Room

He then led them out of the courtroom and they remained in the corridor during the morning session.

Judge Goldberg himself questioned the women as their ñames were called.

His first question to them was “Will you be embarrassed by any evidence or deliberation regarding sex”?

Two of the women “Yes.” They were excused.

Five other women answered the judge’s second question about forming opinions and they were excused.

Only one woman, a Dedham housewife, successfully passed the judge’s questioning, and she was immediately challenged by the defense and was excused.

One woman, Mrs. Lorraine Mariner of Weymouth, when asked if she had any reason not to favor capital punishment if she served on the jury and found the youth guilty, answered. “Only his youth.”; She was excused.

John A. Robbins, a Wellesley salesman, when asked if he had any previously formed opinions in the case, answered “I’ve got two daughters of my own.” He was excused.

Ralph E. Jones, a Norwood Insurance agent was excused when he informed the court that he insured members of the Annese family.

Others Formed Opinions

All others dismissed were excused for reasons of having formed opinions in the case.

Defense Counsel Goldstein arrived early in court today accompanied by his brother. Julius, who is assistant clerk at the Roxbury Court. Julius will act as assistant to his brother during the trial.

Both men carried heavy briefcases and many charts and pictures. much of which will be offered in evidence as the trial

Prosecuting the case is Dist Atty. Myron N. Lane and his first assistant. J. Blake Thaxter Jr.

Murder Jury The Makarewicx jury as seated so far is as follows:

FREDERICK A. DRINKWATER of Braintree, retired auto repair company foreman.

FRANK L. LINDEN of Welles- ley, an electrician.

JOSEPH H. SCHMIDT JR. of Wellesley, a sales manager.

THEODORE J. GOULD of Brook. line, a butler.

RALPH W. MAILLOUX Wellesley, a toolmaker.

DONALD W. NOQUEIRA Quincy, a salesman.

LEO J. LAMB of Quincy, clerk.

JEFFRIES R. STEVENS of Wellesley, a truckman.

ALFRED PUFFER JR. of Avon, a construction worker.

CECIL F. WEATHERBEE of Foxboro, a credit manager.

HOSEA C. WOODWARD of Dedham, a salesman

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