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January 13, 2010

"Rising Road: A True Tale of Love, Race, and Religion in America"

513lHw1UuXL__SL500_AA240_ The title of this post is the title of this amazing new bookby my colleague Sharon Davies that is just out from Oxford University Press.  Here is the publisher's description of the work, which highlights why those interested in criminal justice history and SCOTUS Justice history should be sure to check out this great new book:

It was among the most notorious criminal cases of its day.  On August 11, 1921, in Birmingham, Alabama, a Methodist minister named Edwin Stephenson shot and killed a Catholic priest, James Coyle, in broad daylight and in front of numerous witnesses.  The killer's motive? The priest had married Stephenson's eighteen-year-old daughter Ruth -- who had secretly converted to Catholicism three months earlier -- to Pedro Gussman, a Puerto Rican migrant and practicing Catholic.

Having all but disappeared from historical memory, the murder of Father Coyle and the trial of Rev. Stephenson that followed are vividly resurrected in Sharon Davies's Rising Road.  As Davies reveals in remarkable detail, the case laid bare all the bigotries of its time and place: a simmering hatred not only of African Americans, but of Catholics and foreigners as well. In one of the case's most interesting twists, Reverend Stephenson hired future U.S. Supreme Court justice Hugo Black to lead his defense team.  Though Black would later be regarded as a champion of civil rights, at the time the talented defense lawyer was only months away from joining the Ku Klux Klan, which held fundraising drives to finance Stephenson's defense. Entering a plea of temporary insanity, Black and his client used both religion and race-accusing the Puerto Rican husband of being "a Negro" -- in the hopes of persuading the jury to forgive the priest's murder.

Placing this story in its full social and historical context, Davies brings to life a heinous crime and its aftermath, in a brilliant, in-depth examination of the consequences of prejudice in the Jim Crow era.

January 13, 2010 at 10:02 AM | Permalink

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Comments

Excuse me. Did she cover this?

The KKK was a lawyer founded, led and maintained terror arm of the Democrat Party. It lynched 5000 mostly well to do blacks and Jews. It put out postcards of the lynchings sent out around the country like greetings from a beach resort. The lawyer run terror organization was granted full immunity for its genocidal rampages. The motivation for these lynchings was not disrespect of the white woman's virtue. It was to seize the property of the lynching victim. The KKK campaign had a confiscatory business plan. One presumes the local prosecutors and judges partook of this lawyer enrichment scheme.

Before getting all huffy about the KKK, consider their 5000 lynchings over 100 years. Then consider the work of the modern terror arm of the Democrat Party, the criminal lover lawyer on the bench and in the legislature. The excess number of black murder victims today, is 5000 a year. And the confiscatory take is not a couple of $billion over 100 years. It is a couple of $billions a year in the form of lawyer rent seeking, distributed equally among the prosecution, the defense and the judiciary. The lawyer has become more sophisticated, no longer going after the paltry assets of a middle class black, but the far more reliable assets of the taxpayer.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 13, 2010 2:32:53 PM

Clod: If the excess number of blacks murthered each year is 5000, what is the approved number?

Posted by: Ferris Bueller | Jan 13, 2010 4:49:56 PM

Blacks represent 13% of the population. Their number of murders out of 17,000 a year should be about 2000. In 2005, it was about 8000.

Blacks do not have a higher rate of innate criminality, from antisocial personality disorder, a biologically based disorder. Believe this or not, blacks have a slightly lower rate of alcoholism and drug addiction than whites. There is no racial disparity in the biological factors of crime.

What they have is a total devaluation of the black crime victim by the white lawyer hierarchy. They have the herding of criminality into their neighborhoods, reminiscent of toxic waste dumping by the Mafia garbage haulers into their neighborhoods. They have the removal of adequate police protection by the white lawyer hierarchy, either by government policy or by deterrence of the police by litigation.

The repetition of this racial disparity for decades implies the lawyer hierarchy has scienter. It does this intentionally, a set of 100 years of KKK lynchings, but every year.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 14, 2010 7:55:40 AM

Can we compromise at 3500? What about bi-racial folks? Do they get double-counted when they get double-barrelled?

Posted by: Ferris Bueller | Jan 14, 2010 11:14:47 AM

Ferris: Mockery and personal attacks against me are not that important, especially since you are not witty.

However, mocking minority victims of murder is not appropriate. Black folks feel the same pain after losing a loved one as all other races. The fact that they have to mourn 6 times as often as others will never inure them to the gut wrenching pain they have to endure. Thank the criminal lover lawyer.

Your callous attitude explains the racial disparity in the murder rate. The minority murder victim is markedly undervalued by the racist and supercilious lawyer hierarchy.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jan 14, 2010 10:41:55 PM

Clod: You are self-mocking without any aid whatsoever from me. I find it very interesting that the same people who have no problems calling for violence against judges and elected officials are otherwise so dainty with regard to people testing their superficial and bogus beliefs.

P.S. It hurts my feelings that you don't like my jokes.

Posted by: Ferris Bueller | Jan 15, 2010 10:30:29 AM

Hi!
I'm a student and I think that yor post is such an inspiration to keep up the good work.
Thanks for sharing

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