CCJSCasestudynew - Throughout the history of the American...

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Throughout the history of the American judicial system there have been a number of significant cases which have altered the system as it stands. The decisions in these cases are often made by judges who face criticism from other members of the system because they reject the norm that has been established. None the less these cases play an extreme importance in protecting the rights of those involved, as well as those that will be involved with the system in the future. Moore v. Dempsey is a case which focuses on the right to due process, which is guaranteed in the fourteenth amendment. In September 1919 a group of white men fired upon a group of blacks who had congregated in a church in a small town in Arkansas. Following this shooting a white man was killed, which prompted an outrage by the white community, leading to the shootings of many blacks. Multiple blacks were later arrested and stood trial by an all white jury, in which all potential black jurors were excluded from the selection process. Many were also beaten and whipped, as well as forced by other violent means to plead guilty and provide testimony (The Injustice Line). All of those that stood trial were sentenced to the death penalty, while a multitude of others pleaded guilty to second-degree murder rather than face a biased jury. Following the convictions, the NAACP began to investigate the events, and ultimately appealed the convictions which were handed down by the mob-dominated juries. The case of Frank v. Mangum was brought into discussion, which established a “if a trial is dominated by a mob so that there is an actual interference with the course of justice, there is a departure from due process of law…” and that in doing so the defendant’s rights had been violated. The Fifth Amendment rights of these citizens were violated in their denial of due process. Establishing this, the Fourteenth Amendment therefore held that the previous ruling was founded based on means that violated the 1
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rights of those found guilty (The Injustice Line). The importance in this case lies in that the Supreme Court protected the rights of due process, establishing that the federal courts would not tolerate the violation of these rights by state courts. It also helped in showing that the federal court’s observance of habeas corpus would be taken seriously, thereby mandating that state court trials proceed properly or risk being overturned (Injusticeline). Falling in suit with this ruling was the case of Powell v. Alabama of 1932. Upon hopping a train in Alabama, nine young black men encountered a separate group of white men that were also on the train. Upon being forcefully removed from the train, the white men informed the train’s destination town of the incident. A group of citizens were able to stop the train just before arriving in the town, at which point the black men on board were arrested on charges from “two young white women [claiming] that they had been sexually assaulted by the men”
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course CCJS 100 taught by Professor Gaston during the Fall '07 term at Maryland.

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CCJSCasestudynew - Throughout the history of the American...

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