The Equal Justice Initiatives’ (“EJI”) National Memorial for Peace and Justice recently unveiled The Legacy Museum, dedicated to the victims of violent, non-judicial executions in the form of lynchings. The 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees every citizen the right to notice of what crime they are alleged to have committed and an opportunity to defend those allegations before they are deprived of their liberty or, more importantly, their life.
The National Memorial for Peace and Justice pays tribute to those who were deprived their 14th Amendment rights and to the suffering caused by lynchings which occurred frequently throughout the South. According to the EJI report, which was compiled by a small group of lawyers and documented over 4,000 lynchings between the Civil War and WWII, lynchings were often conducted most minor perceived infractions: walking behind a white woman, attempting to quit a job, organizing sharecroppers, and even reprimanding children for throwing rocks (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/25/us/lynching-memorial-alabama.html).
The Legacy Museum, built on the site where enslaved black people were imprisoned, traced the roots of inequality and racism through slavery, lynching, racial segregation and attempted to show connections to perceived implicit biases present in the modern justice system.
Speakers came from all over the country to attempt to address criminal justice reform in the United States, including Ray Hinton, who spent 30 years on death row for a crime he did not commit.
For more information on civil rights and the history of United States laws, contact Parton & Associates, PLLC.
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