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Wednesday, October 03, 2007


"Justice" in America

Another post about the travesty of "justice" in Jena? No, just something else I read last night in Bill Bryson's latest, "The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid":
MOBILE, ALA - The Alabama Supreme Court yesterday upheld a death sentence imposed on a Negro handyman, Jimmy Wilson, 55, for robbing Mrs. Esteele Barker of $1.95 at her home last year. Mrs. Barker is white.

Although robbery is a capital offense in Alabama, no one has been executed in the state before for a theft of less than $5. A court official suggested that the jury had been influenced by the fact that Mrs. Barker told the jury that Wilson had spoken to her in a disrespectful tone.

- The Des Moines Register, Aug. 23, 1958
Think about this the next time you're read about those "backwards" Muslims who cut off people's hands for robbery. This was less than 50 years ago in the United States.

My favorite line in this sick story, by the way, is the bit about the $5. Apparently if Wilson had stolen $5 or $10, this wouldn't have even been a newsworthy story.

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