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HIST 3850 (19)

Mid-Term Review

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HIST 3850
Patrick J Connor

HIST3850 Patrick Connor December 16, 2012 Mid-Term Review Legal Issues Judges vs. Jurors • Judge is interpreter of the law • Jury is interpreter of the facts Organization of Criminal Justice System • Political System 1. House of Representatives 2. Senate 3. Executive 4. Veto 5. States 6. Criminal Codes • Criminal Courts Process 1. Arrest a. By police b. By county sheriff c. By state police d. FBI 2. Appearance 3. Grand Jury 4. Arraignment • Judiciary 1. State Courts a. Of Limited Jurisdiction b. General Jurisdiction 2. Appeals and Courts of Last Resort 3. Judicial Review • Federal Judiciary 1. District Courts 2. Courts of Appeal 3. Supreme Court Capital Punishment • Incapacitation • Denunciation • Specific deterrence • General deterrence • Reformation and rehabilitation • More functional than death penalty • Bloody code • Law split up into 3 elements: o Majesty – idea that law should be overwhelming, above humans o Mercy – law merciful to everyone o Equity/Justice – law cant be arbitrary, must follow procedures Vigilantism/ Lynching • Always been a strand of socially acceptable crime • Social crime: crimes committed by criminals which my be formally/officially legal but the majority of the population doesn’t believe it to be immoral (Eric Hobson) • Emerged in part because of perceived inequalities in justice system • Way to take control because system not working for them • Vigilance community: secret society who swore an oath to defend Catholics from attacks, prevent crimes and act as good neighbors • Spirit of rebellion seen in action of mobs and rioters • Mobs are very specific about aims and quite disciplined • Too many punishments didn’t reflect severity of crime • Vigilantes acted as “guardians of moral order” • Wide range of groups and classes locating in small communities • Predominantly in West where law enforcement weak • Expulsion from community was a common punishment • Second half of 19 century move violent – more hangings • How did vigilantes justify their actions? 1. Self-preservation/defense (kill or be killed) 2. Reflected American idea of revolution (defending from lawlessness) 3. Popular sovereignty – exercise sovereign power to defend 4. Economic rationale – was cheaper, leaders would be elites • Brown argues that most movements in 1800s were socially constructed • Had support from majority of population • Actions overall created more stable environment • Richard White paints vigilantes in positive way o “Social bandits” that commit crime for higher moral purpose • What separates bandits from criminals is that they are able to draw support from the community • Post 1865, new vigilantism all about racial order o Mostly directed towards blacks, Jews, Catholics, labour leaders, immigrants, those who argued for civil liberties • Reactionary force, justice system was way too easy on them • Lynching: to put to death, especially by hanging, by mob action and without legal authority. Due Process (The 14 Amendment) • All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law, which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. • Made after civil war to protect African American rights • Right to a fair and speedy trial • Right to free speech and freedom of religion • Was interpreted that due process was satisfied as long as there was a system in place and was followed (Frank v. Moore) • Extended these rights to Bill of Rights o Does not apply to state, states have own laws o Only due process clause that is an extension of those rights over state course Insanity • Reach of the law can only extend to those who can comprehend terms and abide by subscriptions • Hale – to be judged as insane one had to be entirely lacking of reason • Law required that he was incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong Serial Killers • Multiple victims – usually more than 3-4 • Mostly white males • Victims are strangers, usually women (alone) or children, 50% black • Biological and psychological o Comparison to mass murderers Murdering Mothers • When women kills children = “unnatural” Cases Powell v. Alabama • 9 offenders known as Scottsboro Boys • Began in 1929 • Boys met on a freight train all without a ticket o Commonly known as “riding the rails” during Depression • 4 young friends on train met a group of 5 more • A white boy on train stepped on the hand of one of the black boys • Rocks were thrown and all white boys were either thrown off or had jumped off • They wanted to press charges • At Scottsboro, Alabama stop they telephoned ahead and every African American on the train was arrested • 9 boys charged with assault and attempted murder • There were two white girls on train: Victoria Price and Ruby Bates (17-18) o Unemployed, riding rails in search of work • After 20 mins, Bates volunteered or responded to Sherriff Deputy’s question that they had both been raped by this gang of blacks • Boys only heard about this later when they were called to line up • Price positively identified 6 of boys • Bates wasn’t able to identify any but figured remaining 3 raped her • Huge mob gathered at Scottsboro jail • By March 30, grand jury had indicted all 9 boys for rape • This was a capital crime so punishment was death • Element of Alabama law: if death penalty might result, defendant must have lawyer • They were asked to get one but they didn’t have one and no one stepped up in court to offer them representation • Judge appointed every one of the boys an attorney of record • Eventually, 3 proper lawyers were asked to take on case • During initial trial, they didn’t have many lawyers, judge was casual about appointing this bar randomly • Exaggerated fear of black sexuality didn’t exist until abolition of slavery o Use in rape cases almost exclusively in South o All cultural stereotypes, biggest was separation of races • Bates and Price were both white and far down on social scale • Both had widowed mothers that were their sole support • In 1932, they were making about $1.20 a day • Bates family lived in a black neighborhood • Suddenly they were seen as a rape victims who were virtuous and acceptable • In retrospect, we know there was no rape and the two women were casual prostitutes • They worked in the mills and often slept with black men • This story would not taint their reputation • It was easy for community to accept story as it allowed authorities to reassure themselves about the stereotypes they entertained without having to look deeply at reality • The boys were tried in 4 separate trials • It took just 4 days to indict them • Boys were all teenagers between 14 and 21 • The 14 year old was tried as a minor separately • For 4 separate days, Price and Bates told their story • Women and children under 21 had been excluded because material of case was so shocking • Story was that boys had guns and held knives to their throats and took turns • The only real evidence against boys was the girls testimony • The testimony was incoherent and often contradicting • Price told a perfect story with details and pointed out the 6 boys • Bates was quiet vague and confusing – useless • All 9 denied accusations, some accused others and maintained their innocence • Jurors were tired and found all 9 guilty with exception of young man who was legally a juvenile • All sentenced to death by electrocution except juvenile • Something happened at electric chair • Their case reached international defense league (IDL) o Associated with communist party in US • Case got publicity and IDL heard about it • This group stepped in and agreed they would represent the boys and raise money for defense and their appeal • They managed to get a stay of execution (delay) • Took the case to the Supreme Court of Alabama • Communist party saw this case as something that would be a great recruiting tool amongst blacks in the South o Would highlight economic and racial issues • NAACP was a slow moving democracy • They came to realization that boys were probably innocent • To gain control of case, they offered to hire a nationally renowned lawyer but too late • They were all minors and their parents were approached • Boys and families approved appeal and case was brought to ASC • The appeal was not satisfying and rejected by a vote of 5-1 • Rejected a number of defensive arguments • Made 5 major points: o Accused had not been properly indicted (rejected) o Tried 9 boys in groups, should have been individual (rejected) o Had not received a fair trial for numerous reasons:  There was a mob outside who was violent and influencing  Necessary for national guard to be called in  Invalidated the trial  Court responded that national guard assured it was fair trial  Rather than being intimidating factor, insured fair-trial o Bad publicity had made a fair trial impossible (rejected) and change in venue should have been made o New evidence had come to light that Bates was an occasional prostitute to sex had been consensual (rejected because pointed out that defense stance was that there had never been any sex in first place) o Case has been heard far too fast, defense did not have proper time to consult lawyers or devise a proper defense in 4 days  Pointed out constitution guarantee right to speedy trial • This is so you don’t sit in jail for years before trial • Defense chose to focus on idea of due process • Specifically, Scottsboro boys lack of effective and proper counsel was a key flaw that should have been validated in the trial • Argued that since they were non residents of the State, no attempt had been made to see if they had family members who could potentially look into getting them lawyers • Were not given any opportunities • Also each individual should have right of choosing their own • At arraignment, court appointed all members of bar as their council • In the end, 2 outside lawyers were hired to assist • Without a lawyer, no real way to challenge prosecutions evidence • Federal Supreme Court agreed that having a lawyer to defend you is an ancient and important right • Even innocent people run danger of conviction because they do not know how to establish innocence • Not arguing under the 6 amendment which guarantees you a lawyer but instead under the 14 that guarantees you due process • Supreme Court declared that because of illiteracy of youth and pubic hostility towards, no friends of family in town, they didn’t have reasonable time and opportunity to fair council • In future, it is not enough to provide a lawyer but also time to plan case • Simply having a system of counsel is not enough • If they didn’t, capital conviction overturned • They were sent back for new trials in Scottsboro • Convicted again, but after second trial the convictions again overturned • Blacks systematically blocked from serving on juries • Embarrassment for state, there was support for these boys worldwide • Publicity was very negative after their second conviction • However, they were not sentenced to death this time • 4 of the boys were released and the remaining 5 given long jail sentences o For being at the wrong place at the wrong time • The last Scottsboro boy was not released from jail until 1951 • This case led the Supreme Court to expand the definition of due process • In Frank v. Magnum due process was whatever each state wanted it to be • In this case, SC fine tuned definition further • The constitution guarantees everyone due process • One specific element of fundamental justice was the right to have meaningful and effective representation by counsel Norris v. Alabama • SC simultaneously decided near identical case involving Clarence Norris, another Scottsboro defendant • Court held that “exclusion of negroes from grand jury by which a negro is indicted…resulting from systematic and arbitrary exclusion of negroes from the jury lists solely because of their race or color, is a denial of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed to him by the 14 Amendment” Brown v. Mississippi • March 30, 1934 – 60 year old farmer Raymond Stuart found dying from axe wound to the head • Died that night without revealing anything • 2 arrests were made that night – Ed Brown (one of Stuart’s farmers) and Henry Shields • Newspapers reported that these two men made full confessions • A third man named Arthur Ellington was arrested a day later and he confessed as well • The newspapers printed the confessions and sensational details • Local residents promised a speedy trial to prevent men being strung up by crowds • There arraignment took place on April 4, 1934 o The court appearance before the trial starts • All 3 began trial the next day but trial didn’t even last a day • They were all convicted and sentenced to death • Problems with this case • When authorities first suspected that Shields was involved, they broke into a window In his house and found a pair of bloody overalls • On another trip to his house, found a small hand axe with traces of blood • By time of actual trial, they refused to repeat their confessions • State decided that if they would not repeat their confessions, they would find someone who would • They called a sheriff as a witness who heard their confessions directly • It was repeated for the court and went on record • Confession: 3 men wanted their money back from Stuart but he didn’t cooperate so they killed him • Defense asked if these confessions were given freely and voluntary • Sheriff said they were and when asked if anyone had complained to him, Shields came in limping and when asked to sit he said he couldn’t • Defense brought up issue of bloody overalls and said he had received a cut of meat from his father-in-law and wrapped it up in overalls to bring home • The suspicious hand axe with blood was said to be Shield’s wife’s blood o She cut herself on it when they had argued about the axe and his wife testified to this • Brown testified that Sunday evening after the murder, the deputy sheriff along with 2 other men had come to his cell, taken off his clothes and beat him • This story repeated by Shield almost identically • Ellington said he was taken by a mob, tied to a tree and beaten and then was hung from tree and whipped, when turned over to deputy sheriff, he was beaten again • The sheriff admitted to beating the defendants but had not at any time dictated that they gave him a confession • Tried to demonstrate that however these confessions were obtained, what was important was that content of confessions were true • When it had been repeated to sheriff there had been no coercion involved • If the confessions were obtained through coercion and torture the defense should have made a motion • Instead, rejected testimony on basis that he had repeated confessions made by defendants – this was hearsay • Had judge excluded testimony, result was that defense would have details of confession thrown out and he also managed to have excluded any testimony which confirmed that 3 defendants had been beaten • There was another case with black defendants and a white victim • Each of these groups suffered a political and cultural baggage • The governor was sympathetic • Best chance for appeal was a legal issue • John A Clarke was one of the 4 court appointed attorneys at original trial o Convinced three men guilty o When revelation of torture came up, he experienced a change of heart and threw himself into appeal o Not significant man, 50 years old o Promising political career ahead of him o Elected to state senate in 1937 and 1941 o At time of trial, serving as senatorial leader o He appealed to Mississippi SC • Based appeal not on issues of federal constitution but on Mississippi state law • Any evidence obtained by coercion must be excluded • Once this was clear, should have been thrown out • Argument rejected because when a motion is made during a trial to exclude a confession, at the time no evidence they had been coerced • When such evidence did become apparent, no motion was made then to suppress • Similar to previous cases, much emphasis on proper timing and procedural aspect of trial • Wasn’t unanimous – Judge Anderson opposition to other 5 justices o Felt convictions should be thrown out o Trial judge had made an error in not doing so • Notwithstanding this, Anderson felt that the fact they were said to be tortured in open court should have been enough th • Guaranteed under 14 amendment, objected to such a hurried trial, attorneys failed to object confessions under coercion • Clarke argued that due process had not been served • Majority of Alabama SC still decided to uphold decision • Pointed out recent developments in area of due process • Despite the fact that lawyers had not argued well • Appeal not successful • Clarke suffered nervous breakdown • No payment for case, he was mentally exhausted and not able to cont • Opinions about case started to change – new attorney stepped in o Former governor of Mississippi • Suggestion of error – essentially new appeal • Appeal to SC straightforward • State of Mississippi put forth same arguments that heard in other cases • Argued 3 defendants had been tried according to established and accepted rules of law o Due process was served • SC not impressed, became hostile during oral arguments • Press compared this to the Scottsboro case • Noticed arguments were over procedure • They didn’t deny torture • A Mis attorney brought up no motion to exclude confessions which procedure acquired • One judge said “should one Brown be sentenced to death because a lawyer failed to say I object” • USSC decided unanimously in favour of three defendants o Procedure may have been followed but fact was that it resulted in confessions being used as evidence obtained by torture • Conviction overturned – new trial granted • Denial of fundamental conception of justice (confessions) • Result of this decision – due process cannot be said to exist where confessions or evidence is obtained through coercion • 3 men released Daniel M’Naughton, 1843 • January 20, 1843 • London, England • Shoots Edmund Drummond (private secretary to PM) • Walked up close to him and put muzzle of pistol into back • Policeman saw act, rushed and seized criminal • The bullet was lodged in his lower left side and shattered his ribs o Missed major arteries o Wound became infected next morning (death sentence in 1840s) o Experienced difficulty breathing o Applied leeched • Died 4 days later • Shooter immediately arrested and questioned at police station • Refused to answer questions • Evidence found in apartment – percussions caps that fit gun used • Police discovered witnesses who claimed to have seen him around White Hall (where government located) • Newspapers reported no evidence of insanity • He was formally charged in front of magistrate • Arresting officer heard him say: “He shall not destroy my peace of mind any longer” • Was asked if he knew identity of man he shot • Seemed surprised and said “It’s Sir Robert Penal, is it not?” • Case of Mistaken Identity • Trial began on March 3, 1843 (6 weeks after shooting) • When asked o enter plea he was silent • Replied he was driven to desperation by persecution • He pled guilty to shooting but not rest so he pled not guilty • Prosecution anticipated insanity defense • Case began by telling jury that legal question would turn on state of mind • Defense was led by Alexander Cockburn • They agreed he shot the PM but claimed we must understand defendant’s state of mind at the time he committed the offense • Understanding based on modern medical science o Madness is a disease of the body operated by the mind • Jury was informed that according to most modern medical thinking, the brain was composed of 2 separate parts – intellect and emotion o One part can be diseased while other remains healthy o This would make victim subject to fearful delusions • Prosecution gave up and provided no med experts of their own • Duty of crown was attainment of public justice • Jury didn’t need to leave room, in less than 2 mins declared not guilty • Liberally interpreted law of insanity • Jury ignored distinguish between right and wrong • Labeled mono mania (mono-one) • People feared they would ne safe on streets from madmen let loose • Mad doctors to dictate law • Seemed clear that if jury would interpret law this way, someone needed to keep society safe • Asked if defect would allow someone suffering from partial insanity to be relieved of all criminal responsibilities • On March 13, 1843 – House of Lords formally met to discuss in detail • No law necessary but rule would be useful • All judges summoned to House of Lords for a serious of 5 questions 1. If you know you’re breaking the law, have to be held responsible – legally guilty 2. What questions should jury consider 3. What direction should judge be giving in terms of defense 4. Is a single issue of delusion good enough for insanity defense 5. How involved should psychiatrists get in cases like this a. Must be physically examined, can’t go by hearsay • Most important answers to questions 2,3,4 • Judges declared “M’Naughton Rules” o An accused is sane unless it can be clearly proven that, at the time of committing the act, the part accused was laboring under such a defect of reason, from disease of the mind, as not t
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