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In Philadelphia, U.S. Justice Grier rebels against piracy cases interrupting U.S. District Court business

Robert Cooper Grier, detail
Supreme Court Justice Robert Cooper Grier had a few weeks earlier sentenced several blockade runners to death as pirates in the Enchantress Case. Facing another such trial, that of two officers of the blockade runner Petrel, he spoke strongly and openly in court that he was not in favor of treating prisoners captured at sea any differently from those captured on land. He would no longer delay other important cases due to the increasing load of piracy cases.  The U.S. reclassified blockade runners as prisoners of war a few months later.  (By John Osborne)  
Source Citation: 
J.Thomas Scharf and Thompson Wescott, History of Philadelphia 1609-1884, in three volumes (Philadelphia, PA: L.H. Everts & Co., 1884), II: 786.