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Woman Wields City Court Gavel First Time in History

From The Indianapolis Star, Wednesday, July 20, 1921: For the first time in the history of City Court, a woman sat as judge yesterday afternoon and administered stern justice to erring sinners who came before the court. Miss Jessie Levy, who was admitted to practice about three weeks ago, took Judge Walter Pritchard’s place on the bench for about thirty minutes. The first case called was one involving a pair of pants which Rage Ajamie accused Bennett Cook of stealing. Book stoutly denied that he stole the pants, but when evidence was introduced showing that he was wearing them, Acting Judge Levy slammed down the gavel and fined Book $1 (2020: $15) with a jail sentence of thirty days for good measure. When Miss Levy surrendered the bench to Judge Pritchard, she was congratulated upon her showing as a judge.

“Woman Wields City Court Gavel First Time in History,” The Indianapolis Star, 20 July 1921, p. 16:2


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