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Soiled Dove Plea
aka: Plea for a Fallen Woman
A courtroom speech delivered in Woodward, OK (1899) by attorney Temple Lea Houston on behalf of Woodward’s Dew Drop Inn girl of the line, Minnie Stacey, being tried for prostitution. The judge had discovered she had neither money nor an attorney and was hopelessly guilty. Houston agreed to defend her and delivered the Soiled Dove speech extemporaneously. Also known as the Plea for a Fallen Woman, it is considered by many trial attorneys to be the perfect closing argument. The all-male jury in the temporary courtroom setting at the Woodward Opera House acquitted the accused by unanimous verdict in ten minutes!