Letter Home
Phillip J. McKenna
Waverly VA, August 10, 1965

[See SCOPE Summer Project for background information.]

August 10, 1965

Dear Mom & Dad,

We met up with Southern justice yesterday. I didn't tell you about an incident that happened about three weeks ago because I didn't want to frighten you. Gary and Elke were driving down a road about midnight and they were assaulted by two cars. The cars tried to run them off the road and once pointed a shotgun at them. Gary was able to identify one of the men and had him arrested. Upon arrest the man admitted to the officer that he did have a part in the assault.

Well the trial was yesterday. Gary was the first witness and he began to tell his story. He was interrupted many times unjustly but the D.A. did nothing to prevent this. After he finished he was pretty flustered. Elke next took the stand and started to testify. The judge (at least 80 and rather senile) interrupted her and this is how his questions went.

Judge; "Where do you live?"
Elke; "With the Andrews."
Judge; "The Andrews on Rt. 301?"
Elke; "Yes."
Judge; "They are colored aren't they?"
Elke; "Yes"
Judge; "Are you white or colored?"
Elke: "White." [Obviously]

The judge provided the basis for the defense.

The defendant's admission was then entered into the record.

The defense lawyer then asked Gary to state the color and make of the automobile that the defendant was riding in. Gary stated the color correctly but could not state the make. This was legitimate as Gary did not have any ideal of the kind of car it was. Next Gary identified the defendant.

The defense lawyer then asked for a not guilty verdict because Gary could not identify the make of the car. The judge complied with the request and everybody in the courtroom was all smiles.

Although he confessed to the crime, he was still not convicted.

Am learning a great deal this summer.


Copyright © Phillip McKenna, 1965

Copyright ©
Copyright to this web page, as a web page, belongs to this web site.

Webspinner: webmaster@crmvet.org
(Labor donated)