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Trial Analysis

Page history last edited by Michael Giudicessi 8 years, 5 months ago

1)     Become a Trial Expert. Research the following cases: Brown versus Board of Education, Plessy versus Ferguson, and the trial from the text.  Also research the Jim Crow Laws. Provide a one page summary of each case, double-spaced, 12-point font.  On a separate paper, provide a paragraph for Brown vs. BOE and Plessy v. Ferguson relating themthe trial from the text.  You should also discuss how the Jim Crow laws relate to the trial in the text.



       Brown vs. Board of Education
In the late 1880’s to the mid 1950’s there was a lot of segregation against African Americans taking away their rights as American citizens. One of the most controversial was the segregated schools. A lot of people knew it was wrong for there to be segregated schools based on the color of someone’s skin, but very few people tried to stop it. While most wanted to reverse Plessy and declare segregation in public schools to be unconstitutional, they had various reasons for doing so. There were eleven cases that made it to the state judge but were all eventually turned down and said that there could still be segregated schools.
Some reasons people thought it was unconstitutional was because it wasn’t fair that blacks were treated differently and had to go to their own school. A sense of inferiority affects the motivation of a child to learn. Segregation with the law tends to change the educational and mental development of black children and takes away some of the benefits they would receive in an integrated school system.
Finally in 1954 the cases known as “Brown vs. Board of Education” finally made segregated schools unconstitutional. During the Intervening months chief justice Fred Vinson died, and was replaced by Gov. Earl Warren of California. He made all justices’ decide that school segregation was unconstitutional. Although it would take years to make all schools unsegregated, it was the Brown v. BOE that made the process underway.


     Plessy vs. Ferguson

     For many the freedom to be equal is something that people trust is backed up by the government, but in the 1892 Plessy vs. Ferguson case these rights were comprised in the American court system. A 1/8 mulatto man by the name of Homer Plessy tested to what lengths segregation would affect freedom in American society. Plessy and his family could pass as whites but the states still consider them black. Homer Plessy boarded on the Easy Louisiana Railroad in New Orleans on the all-white railroad car. No one notice because of his appearance, but when he told them that he was black the conductor ask him to go to the color railroad car. Plessy held strong and did not move, and because of this he was arrested. The Citizen Committee (a group of people fighting for rights for blacks) supported him and gave him a lawyer that had won similar cases in the past. When this case first went to trial Plessy argued that the state laws that segregated trains had denied him his rights under both the thirteenth and fourteenth amendments. The state of Louisiana had just past the Separate Car Act in 1890 that promise “separate but equal” railroad accommodations. It was separate, but defiantly not equal. Being black made near impossible for Plessy to win and in the end he lost the case. Jim Crow Laws influence the way that blacks were treated in the south.

In the South Jim crow laws would affect everything from to which school one attends to what alcohol one drank. Its intent was to make the black person a second class citizen. What made the Laws so powerful was that they backed by the government officials of the south, many of which were members of the Klu Klux Klan. When any of the rules were broken the consequences were brutal and sometimes fatal. Overall Jim Crow laws were unfair and cruel.



Comparison in Trial Brown vs. BOE and Mockingbird trial analysis

            Plessy vs. Ferguson is similar to the trial in To Kill a mockingbird because both cases ended in an unjust verdict. But in the Brown vs. BOE this was resolved by the desegregation of school systems. Because of this America no longer finds people guilty just because of their skin color.


     Jim crow laws

The Jim Crow laws made all public facilities in the south segregated upon the skin color. It segregated public transportation, public bathrooms, public water fountains, and public places. This system was also used as a way to limit the freedom of blacks just like we saw in the text.

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