Then in 1969 Herbert Ehrman's The Case that will not die marshaled the case for the defense as thoroughly as Montgomery and Russel had put the case for the prosecution.

This is an excerpt from the book Postmortem: New Evidence in the Case of Sacco and Vanzetti by William Young and David E. Kaiser. I know roughly what author wants to say: Ehrman asserts that Sacco and Vanzetti were innocent and adopted the point of view of the defense (in contrast to Russel and Montgomery). But what is the exact meaning of the verb "marshal for"? I am familiar with the meaning of this verb but it would imply that the author (Ehrman) chose the facts for his purpose and thus his book is manipulative.

  • It does not imply so much that he cherry-picked the facts as that he organized the facts: set them forth in a way which made his case as convincing as possible, just as a military commander seeks to set whatever troops are at his disposal in the most advantageous positions. – StoneyB on hiatus Feb 18 '15 at 16:28

The verb here is "marshal", meaning to "assemble and arrange (a group of people, especially troops) in order" (Google's definition function).

Here, it is used metaphorically in the sense of assembling a group of facts and arguments into a case - specifically, the case for the defence (the case which defends the innocence of the accused person, as opposed to the case for the prosecution, which is the case which accuses the person in question).

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