Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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Contents

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Preface

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pp. ix-xi

Louisiana still lives under a Jim Crow law. This is not a statement about the evolution of racism in the wake of civil rights and Black Power. It isn’t a statement about the more esoteric problems of race-related realty abuses and housing prices; nor is it a statement about drug laws or the...

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1. The Plight of Frank Johnson

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pp. 1-5

It was a clear, sunny day on December 26, 1967. It was cool, but the temperature stayed in the high fifties for most of the day, making work that much more comfortable for Eugene Frischertz, who was frustrated but resigned to be working the day after Christmas. He watched the day prior...

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2. The Politics of Transfer

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pp. 6-9

The dominant assumption that Louisiana’s criminal jury requirements were holdovers not from Bourbon restoration but instead from its French ancestry falls at the water’s edge of American transfer following the Louisiana Purchase. The process of that transfer was complicated. France...

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3. The Creation of Convict Lease

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pp. 10-14

The first state penitentiary in Louisiana opened in Baton Rouge in 1835, built on the Auburn model, which would dominate national nineteenth-century corrections. Prisoners slept in solitary cells and marched in military formation to meals and workshops. They were not allowed to...

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4. The Triumph of the Redeemers

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pp. 15-22

John D. Watkins was a Kentucky native who came to Louisiana following college to become a teacher and principal at Minden Male Academy. He studied law in his spare time, however, and passed the bar in 1852. He became district attorney the same year, abandoning his teaching...

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5. The Whisper in the Crowd

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pp. 23-26

And so the convention of 1898 would codify Jim Crow and black voting restrictions and would be dominated by celebrations of white supremacy. Convention president E. B. Kruttschnitt opened the proceedings by reminding delegates that “this convention has been called together...

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6. The Burden of Precedent

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pp. 27-33

When Theodule Ardoin burned down a St. Landry Parish house in 1898, the new constitution had yet to be ratified. His conviction, however, fell under the auspices of the new document, and his conviction was by a vote of nine to three. And so he appealed, arguing that his conviction...

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7. The Vagaries of Due Process

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pp. 34-41

Even as the Louisiana Supreme Court was making its plea in Schoonover, Frank Johnson was waiting in lockup following his arrest for the armed robbery of a Coca Cola Bottling Company truck in New Orleans. He was eventually convicted in June 1968, but his appeal would be complicated...

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8. The Decision in Johnson

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pp. 42-48

After Lewis Powell slowly came around to affirming nonunanimous jury verdicts in the Johnson case, Byron White would again write the opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court, this time for a slim five-to-four majority. He opened his opinion by clarifying the reasonable doubt standard as...

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9. The Ghost in the Machine

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pp. 49-54

In the intervening time between the Johnson opinions of the Louisiana Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court, a flurry of criminal defendants appealed their convictions by Louisiana courts in anticipation of the possible unconstitutionality of the state statute. In 1971 and 1972, no...

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10. The Trial of Derrick Todd Lee

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pp. 55-59

Despite arguments to the contrary, a mythical expediency that inordinately favored prosecutors continued to hold sway in Louisiana, as did the belief that due process was a concept fundamentally segregated from jury unanimity. In the years following the adoption of the state’s new...

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Epilogue

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pp. 60-64

The year after Louisiana passed its Separate Car Act, a group of concerned black business leaders in New Orleans formed a citizens committee and planned a test case to challenge the law’s constitutionality. They chose Homer Plessy to be the tester, largely because he was of mixed race...

Appendix I. Constitutional Jury Mandates

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pp. 65-70

Appendix II. The Johnson Decisions

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pp. 71-132

Appendix III. Louisiana Case Law

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pp. 133-136

Notes

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pp. 137-150

Bibliography

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pp. 151-162

Index

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pp. 163-169