A Jewish-American manager of the factory, Leo Frank, was accused of the crime. He was tried, convicted, and sentenced to hanging. Sortly before the execution was to take place, the governor of Georgia commuted the sentence to life imprisonment. An angry mob fetched Frank from prison and lynched him. Frank was later proven innocent in 1982 and pardoned by the State of Georgia in 1986.
The episode marked a revival of the Ku Klux Klan in United States.