Rep. Birmingham advocated for clemency for the three individuals convicted of the car barn murder and sentenced to death, according to the Boston Herald (August 4, 1926, pp. 1, 9).
John J. Devereaux, John J. McLaughlin, and Edward J. Heinlein were convicted in the murder of James H. Ferneau, a watchman on duty at the Boston and Middlesex Street Railway office in Waltham, during a 1925 robbery.
Devereaux killed Ferneau during a struggle in which the watchman was shot and beaten. At the time, McLaughlin and Heinlein were robbing the railway cashier on the second floor. The jury found that all three men were guilty of first degree murder and given the death penalty.
Birmingham said that he had known the men for 30 years and had been friends with them at one time. He attributed their getting into trouble to abuse of alcohol.