Black History Month 2022

'trial' - 15 results

Dred Scott Case Decided



Washington, D. C. - Dred Scott v. Sandford was decided, by the United States Supreme Court. Sandford was a clerical error on the case. The real name was Sanford.

Dred Scott was born in 1799, in Virginia, enslaved. Scott's enslaver was Peter Blow. In 1818, Blow moved to Huntsville, Alabama. He took Scott and five (5) other enslaved people with him. Blow farmed, with Scott, until 1830.

In 1830, Blow moved to St. Louis, Missouri. Blow sold Scott to U.S. Army surgeon, Dr. John Emerson. Emerson sent Scott to Fort Armstrong, in Illinois. At the time, Illinois was a 'free' state.

Illinois had no law for slavery, in its state constitution. Yet, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 made slave catching legal in 'free' states. This gave whites the power to enslave 'free' Black Americans and send them to slave states. 'Free' states never punished slave owners in its borders.

In 1836, Emerson moved. He took Scott, to Fort Snelling in the Wisconsin territory (now Minnesota). It was a 'free' territory. There, Scott married Harriet Robinson. She was enslaved, to a different white man.

On February, 1838, Emerson was sent to Fort Jesup in Louisiana. There, Emerson married Eliza Irene Sanford. Scott and Robinson stayed in the Wisconsin territory. Emerson hired out their services while he was away.

In Louisiana, Emerson sent for Scott and Robinson. On the way, Robinson gave birth to Eliza. Eliza was born on the Mississippi River, in 'free' territory. It is unclear how Emerson enslaved Robinson.

In late 1838, Emerson returned to Fort Snelling. In 1840, Sanford took Scott and Robinson to St. Louis, Missouri.

By 1843, Emerson had left the army. He died in Iowa territory. Sanford, his wife, inherited his entire estate. This included Scott and Robinson.

In 1846, Scott tried to buy his family's freedom from Sanford, but she refused. Scott went to court. Since Scott's family had been in 'free' areas, he said they should be free.

The United States Supreme Court ruled against Scott. They ruled only whites were United States citizens. Black Americans, free or not, were subjects of white rule. Enslaved Black Americans were merchandise. No Black American, mulatto, nor Indian was a citizen.

The court hoped to settle the slave question. Instead, it set the stage for the American Slavery War (1861-1865).

Source:

Full Dred Scott Decision & Opinions


Share Or Suggest A Correction:

The Only Supreme Court trial in United States History



Washington, D. C. - The only trial in United States Supreme Court history ended. The verdict was guilty for all tried. Sheriff Shipp, Luther Williams, and Nick Nolan were sentenced to ninety days in jail for the lynching (death) of Ed Johnson, a Black American man. They were jailed in Washington, D. C.

After they served their sentence, the three (3) white males were greeted with a mob of 10-15,000 fans, in Tennessee.

Source:

Only Supreme Court Trial


Share Or Suggest A Correction:

The Mann Act Went Into Effect



Washington, D. C. - The Mann Act, or White-Slave Traffic Act, became law. It was passed to stop boxing champion Jack Johnson, a Black American man, from travelling with the white woman, Lucille Cameron.

Whites tried to use Cameron to make a case against Johnson. She refused to help. Whites went to Belle Schreiber. She was a white woman Johnson knew before the Mann Act had passed (1909 and early 1910). In court, she said Johnson was with her. An all-white jury convicted Johnson of being with a white woman.

To escape jail, Johnson fled the country, for seven (7) years. When he came back, federal agents arrested him. Johnson was sent to the Federal prison in Leavenworth, Kansas. He was behind bars from September 1920, until July 9, 1921.


Share Or Suggest A Correction:

Scottsboro Boys Arrested



Southern Tennessee - Nine (9) Black American youths rode a freight train with several white males and two white women. Near the Lookout Mountain tunnel, a fight erupted between the white and Black American youths.

The whites got kicked off the train. They went to a sheriff, from the nearby town, Paint Rock, Alabama.

The white youths claimed the Black youths assaulted them on the train. The sheriff raised a posse. He ordered the posse to search for and 'capture every Negro on the train.'

All Black American passengers from the train were arrested. All were charged with assault, by the posse.

The Scottsboro boys were put on trial. It was an all-white jury, white judge, and white prosecutor. 8 of the youths were convicted. They were sentenced to death.

As a result of appeals to the United States Supreme Court, none were executed. The Court ruled that race could not be used to exclude a juror.


Share Or Suggest A Correction:

The Youngest Execution in U. S. History



Columbia, South Carolina - Whites executed George Stinney, three (3) months after trial. Stinney was killed, on the word of a white deputy, H. S. Newman. At the time of his death, Stinney was only 14 years of age.

On March 23, 1944, two (2) white female bodies were found in a ditch. They were girls, killed from blows to the head. Stinney was arrested for the crime. No investigation took place.

On April 24, 1944, an all-white jury met. They tried and convicted Stinney, in ten (10) minutes. The white judge sentenced him to death, that day.

The only evidence came from Newman, that Stinney confessed. No Black Americans were allowed in the courtroom. Stinney never saw his family, until after the sentence.

On June 16, 1944, whites electrocuted Stinney to death.


Share Or Suggest A Correction:

Groveland Four



Groveland, Florida - Norma and William Padgett, a white couple, falsely accused four (4) Black American youths of rape and kidnapping. They were Walter Irvin, Samuel Shepherd, Charles Greenlee, and Ernest Thomas.

William Padgett said his car had broken down, while with his 17 year-old wife, Norma. He said they had just left a dance. Padgett claimed the four (4) stopped and offered help. Instead, Padgett said they attacked him and kidnapped his wife.

There was a manhunt for the four (4). All were quickly arrested, except Thomas. The rest were taken to Lake County jail. In jail, the three (3) were tortured. Thomas was found a week later. All were charged with rape. Lake County Sheriff Willis McCall killed Thomas, before he was arrested.

As word spread, a mob of 100 whites demanded that McCall deliver the three (3) survivors to them. The mob was told the three (3) had been sent to state prison. In response, the mob attacked the small Black Americans community in Groveland. Black Americans were shot and their property was destroyed by the white mob.

At trial, medical exams found no proof of rape. Despite this, all three (3) were convicted of rape, by an all-white jury. Shepherd and Irvin were sentenced to death. Greenlee got life in prison.

The United States Supreme Court threw out the two (2) death sentences. Those cases were retried. As Shepherd and Irvin were headed back to trial, Sheriff McCall shot them both. Shepherd died. Irvin was injured. Sheriff McCall claimed self-defense. Greenlee never appealed his sentence, since it was not for death. He was 16 years of age.

A new all-white jury convicted Irvin. He was again sentenced to death. In 1955, it was reduced to life in prison. In 1962, Greenlee was paroled. In 1968, Irvin was paroled. He died a year later, of heart disease. Greenlee died in 2012, at 78 years of age.

Lake County Sheriff Willis McCall is pictured, on the far left.

Source:

Groveland Four


Share Or Suggest A Correction:

Montgomery Bus Boycott Leaders Booked



Montgomery, Alabama - The leaders of the Montgomery Bus Boycott gave themselves to the police. The City of Montgomery decided that the boycott was illegal, from a 1921 law.

Tuesday, February 21st, 1956, 89 were charged with an illegal boycott. The charged included Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Reverend Ralph Abernathy, and Edgar Nixon.

On Wednesday, February 22nd, all 89 peacefully went to the police station. All were booked and released on bond.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was the only one who went to trial. Judge Eugene W. Carter found King guilty. King was fined $500, plus $500 for court costs. King appealed the verdict. Judge Carter changed the sentence to 386 days of jail.

King said, 'I was optimistic enough to hope for the best but realistic enough to prepare for the worst. This will not mar or diminish in any way my interest in the protest. We will continue to protest in the same spirit of nonviolence and passive resistance, using the weapon of love.'

On April 30th, 1957, King's appeal was denied. The Court of Appeals ruled his lawyers missed the 60-day deadline. December 1957, King paid the fine.


Share Or Suggest A Correction:

Central Park Five (5)



New York, New York - White police workers and prosecutors falsely tried and convicted five (5) male teenagers of rape. Four (4) were Black Americans. One (1) was Latino. They were charged with the rape of a white woman, in Central Park. She survived.

Four of the youths served 6-7 years in jail. One was tried as an adult, at sixteen (16) years of age. He was in jail for thirteen (13) years.

In 2002, a man was found to be the rapist. The case against the youths was vacated (erased) by the New York courts. None of the white police, prosecutors, nor judge were punished for their actions against the teenagers.

The five sued the City of New York. In 2014, the courts gave them a $41 million total judgment. In 2016, The State of New York settled on a $3.9 million total.


Share Or Suggest A Correction:

Rodney King Riots Began



Los Angeles, California - The Rodney King Uprisings (L. A. riots) began.

At 1 p.m. (PST), Monday, April 29th, Judge Stanley Weisberg announced the not guilty verdict, in the Rodney King case. Four white male police workers, of the Los Angeles Police Department had brutally beaten, Rodney King. The jury allowed them to escape punishment for beating an unarmed Black American man.

The verdict, by the all-white jury, outraged the Black American Los Angeles community. Many in Los Angeles felt the white police workers should have been tried in the city. But, they were allowed a trial in the white-friendly area of Simi Valley. Almost no Black Americans lived there.

By 4. p.m., civil disturbances erupted in parts of Los Angeles. By 5 p.m., the disturbances exploded into what became known as the Rodney King Uprisings (L. A. riots).

This period of civil unrest lasted until May 4th, with 63 people killed.


Share Or Suggest A Correction:

O. J. Simpson Found Not Guilty



Los Angeles, California - Orenthal James (O. J.) Simpson was found not guilty in the murder of a white male and a white female. It was an extremely rare case. Normally, a Black American man was convicted when a victim was white. In those cases, evidence rarely mattered, in the United States.

Unfortunately, the white press, white politicians, and white media have complained about this outcome until this very day.


Share Or Suggest A Correction:

Cop Daniel Hotzclaw Raped Black American Women



Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - Daniel Holtzclaw was convicted of 18 of 36 counts of rape. Also included were sexual battery, stalking, and forcible, oral sodomy. Holtzclaw was an active worker of the Oklahoma City Police Department went he committed the crimes.

13 women testified against Holtzclaw. All of them were Black American women.

Holtzclaw was sentenced to 263 years in prison, in Oklahoma. Holtzclaw was 28 years of age, at the time.

Source:

Police worker Daniel Holtzclaw Convicted As A Serial Rapist


Share Or Suggest A Correction:

Chicago Cop Jason Van Dyke Found Guilty of Murder



Chicago, Illinois - A jury convicted Chicago police worker, Jason Van Dyke. He was on trial for the shooting death of Laquan McDonald.

White police worker, Van Dyke was found guilty of second (2nd) degree murder. The jury found him guilty of 16 counts of aggravated battery. Each count was for a bullet he shot at Laquan McDonald.

McDonald was a Black American male. He was 17 years of age when Van Dyke killed him.

Source:

Van Dyke Convicted of Murder


Share Or Suggest A Correction:

Derek Chauvin Convicted



Minneapolis, Minnesota - Derek Michael Chauvin was convicted on all charges for the murder of George Floyd. This verdict ended almost a year of protests. They spread overseas and began with the death of Floyd, because of Derek Chauvin's actions.


Share Or Suggest A Correction:

Bill Cosby Cleared of Crimes



Collegeville, Pennsylvania - Bill Cosby was freed from state prison in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled earlier that day, to end his prison term.

On April 26, 2018, Cosby was accused, tried, and convicted of aggravated indecent assault. All of the testimony was from white women. There was no physical evidence. No one backed any of their claims.

On September 25, 2018, Judge Steven O'Neill sent Cosby to jail for three (3) to ten (10) years. Cosby appealed the case and it was denied in the appeals court. It went to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, to be heard in 2021.

On June 30, 2021, the state Supreme Court made the decision that follows. 'As a practical matter, the moment that Cosby was charged criminally, he was harmed: all that he had forfeited earlier, and the consequences of that forfeiture in the civil case, were for naught,'

Cosby spent almost 3 years in prison on a false charge.


Share Or Suggest A Correction:

All Whites Convicted in Arbery Killing



Brunswick, Georgia - The trial of two (2) white males who chased down and killed Ahmaud Arbery, and of the white male who filmed it, ended in convictions. Greg McMichael, his son Travis McMichael, and a neighbor, William 'Roddie' Bryan were found guilty of his murder.

Arbery was passing through an area where the three (3) white males lived. When they saw Arbery, they grabbed guns and chased Arbery in a pickup truck. Bryan followed in his own truck. When Travis shot Arbery, Bryan recorded it on his cellphone.

The jury was almost all white, with one Black American juror. This followed the recent controversial jury trial of Kyle Rittenhouse. Rittenhouse was cleared of all charges when he killed 2 white males, and injured a third. It was at a rally for the shooting of an unarmed Black American man, Jacob Blake, by a white police worker.

Source:

Arbery Killers Convicted

Verdicts of Ahmaud Arbery's Killers


Share Or Suggest A Correction:

Menu