CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, January 17, 2005

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Court

Here are some reported cases involving Dr. King.  In King v. State, 119 S.E.2d 77 (Ga. App. 1961), the court upheld a conviction for a traffic offense but vacated the sentence of 12 months in the work house. Dr. King was a defendant in Gilligan v. King, 264 N.Y.S.2d 309 (Sup. Ct. 1965), aff’d, 290 N.Y.S.2d 1014 (App. Div. 1968), a libel action pursued by a NYPD Lieutenant who killed a 15 year old black which set off rioting in New York. Article here.  He was also a defendant in the New York Times v. Sullivan action, a libel case in which the plaintiff was a police executive criticized for brutalizing and/or failing to protect protesters. Parks v. New York Times Co., 195 F. Supp. 919 (M.D. Ala. 1961), rev’d, 308 F.2d 474 (5th Cir. 1962), certiorari denied, 376 U.S. 949 (1964). As Mark Eckenwiler pointed out, he was convicted of criminal contempt for violating an injunction against picketing in Walker v. City of Birmingham, 181 So.2d 493 (Ala. 1965), aff'd, 388 U.S. 307 (1967). He was the plaintiff in King v. Mister Maestro, Inc., 224 F. Supp. 101 (S.D.N.Y. 1963), an intellectual property action protecting his copyright on the “I Have a Dream” speech, and in Bond v. Floyd, 251 F. Supp. 333 (N.D. Ga.), rev’d, 385 U.S. 116 (1966), an action protecting Julian Bond’s right to a seat in the Georgia legislature in spite of his opposition to the Vietnam war. Here is his Letter from Birmingham Jail.  UPDATE: LaborLawProf has a good post, and TalkLeft has a nice collection of comments and links. [Jack Chin]

January 17, 2005 in Civil Rights | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (3)

Friday, January 7, 2005

Emmett Till Investigation

Here's a column on the reopening of the investigation of the lynching of Emmett Till, an Africam American boy from Chicago who visited Mississippi, where he was murdered for speaking freshly to a white woman.   Background on PBS here. [Jack Chin]

January 7, 2005 in Civil Rights | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Indictments in Freedom Summer Murders of Chaney, Schwerner and Goodman

Continuing the trend of prosecuting civil rights era murders, a 79 year old was arrested and charged with murder in the "Mississippi Burning" triple homicide. [Jack Chin]

January 7, 2005 in Civil Rights | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, December 13, 2004

Race Profiling Claim Wins By Default

Nc Eleven Hispanic traffic defendants in North Carolina won their racial profiling claim when the officer at issue failed to appear in court--neither side had subpoenaed him.  The officer was the same one who was on the losing side of a rare reported appellate decision affirming the dismissal of a case on racial profiling grounds, People v. Juan Villeda in the North Carolina Court of Appeals.  When the officer was accused of profiling Hispanics he reportedly explained: "I'm not targeting Hispanics.  Most of my tickets go to blacks." [Jack Chin] 

December 13, 2004 in Civil Rights | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, December 3, 2004

ACLU Seeks Police Files on Activist Groups

Npr_logo_1 According to NPR, the American Civil Liberties Union is trying to get confidential documents of Joint Terrorism Task Forces around the country. The group thinks law enforcement officers are using the resources of the task forces to spy on protest groups in ways that would have otherwise been forbidden.  To listen to the story, click here.  [Mark Godsey]

December 3, 2004 in Civil Rights | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)