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Civil Rights and Race Relations in America and Their Impact on the Lives of African Americans
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LDF Co-Chair David Mills has fought to secure justice for people sentenced to life in prison for non-violent, non-serious crimes under California’s “Three Strikes” law. First through the work of the Stanford Law School Three Strikes Project, which he founded, Mills obtained representation for individuals challenging their life sentences. Then Mills led the successful effort to pass Proposition 36, the ballot initiative that eliminated future life sentences for non-violent, non-serious crimes, and gave individuals currently serving such sentences a path to release.
Author Gilbert King, Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction visited LDF's offices in New York, where he was congratulated by LDF's staff. King's book Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America, recounts the story of an alleged rape in Lake County, Florida in 1949 and the effort by a vicious and racist sheriff to railroad four young black men. LDF Director-Counsel Thurgood Marshall worked tirelessly in defense of Walter Irvin, one of the young men who was brutally beaten and who faced the death penalty for the alleged rape. Despite the lack of evidence that a rape occurred, and strong evidence that Sheriff Willis McCall and his deputies viciously beat and framed the young men, Irvin was only saved from the Florida electric chair by a Governor's pardon after 3 long years of zealous defense by Marshall and the Legal Defense Fund. In the meantime, Harry Moore, a brilliant and respected NAACP leader in Brevard County, Florida and his wife were killed when a bomb planted under their house exploded on Christmas Eve in 1950. Moore's involvement in support of Marshall's defense of the "Groveland boys" is largely believed to be the motivation for local Ku Klux Klansmen.
The Editorial board of the New York Times today highlighted the unintended consequences of placing police officers in the nation’s schools, and warned school districts that are considering adding police on school campuses to think twice before doing so. The editorial mentions a federal civil rights complaint filed by LDF and the National Center for Youth Law on behalf of our clients Texas Appleseed and the Brazos County branch of the N.A.A.C.P.
Gilbert King's riveting account of Thurgood Marshall and other LDF attorneys efforts to obtain justice for four African Americans wrongly accused of rape in 1949 Florida was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction. Th
Former Governor, Former Prosecutor, Civil Rights Leaders, and Other Prominent Individuals Offer Testimony in Favor of Texas Racial Justice Act4/16/13Related Case or Issue:
Testimony: Duane Buck’s Case, Whose Sentencing Hearing Was Poisoned With Racial Discrimination, Shows That Texas Needs The Racial Justice Act