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CRJ251: Criminology (Mayhew): The Defense

Who was working for the defense?

This page will provide brief biographies of the people working on the defense team to acquit Lizzie Borden for the charges of murdering her father and step-mother.

Andrew Jackson Jennings (1849-1923)

ANDREW JACKSON JENNINGSBorn in Fall River, Mass., the son of Andrew M. and Olive B. (Chace) Jennings. He married Miss Marion G. Saunders of Warren, Rhode Island, on Christmas Day in 1879.

He acted as Miss Lizzie A. Borden’s attorney from the time of her arrest. As a member of the legal team which represented her at the trial, he delivered the opening statement for the defense.

Melvin Ohio Adams (1850-1920)

MELVIN OHIO ADAMSHe was born in Ashburnham, Mass., son of Joseph and Dolly (Whiting) Adams. Shortly after finishing law school in 1875, he married Mary Colony in Fitchburg and was appointed assistant district attorney for Suffolk County. About eight years before Lizzie’s trial, he returned to private practice.

Associate counsel in the defense of Lizzie, he cross-examined all 22 prosecution witnesses during the preliminary hearing, and played an important role throughout the trial.

George Dexter Robinson (1834-1896)

GEORGE DEXTER ROBINSONBorn in Lexington, Mass., the son of Charles and Mary (Davis) Robinson. He was married twice, first to Miss Hannah E. Stevens in 1859 and then to Miss Susan E. Simonds in 1867. Active politically, he served the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a member of the House of Representatives, a senator, a congressman and from 1883 to 1886 as governor.

He was principal attorney for the defense in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts vs. Lizzie A. Borden.

Source Citation

Lizzie Andrew Borden Virtual Museum & Library. (n.d.). Cast of characters. Retrieved from