Plessy v. ferguson. Celene Vasquez Period 4 February 28,2012. What are the facts?. In 1890 Louisiana passed a law requiring separate riding cars for blacks and whites on trains and separate accommodations.
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The Committee of Citizens, a group formed to repeal the law supported Plessy in his argument that this law was unconstitutional to the rights guaranteed by the 13th and 14th amendments.
Thirteenth Amendment, prohibiting slavery, and the Fourteenth Amendment, which guarantees the same rights to all citizens of the United States, and the equal protection of those rights, against the deprivation of life, liberty, or property without due process of law
The judge who presided over the case, John Ferguson claimed that Louisiana had the right to set these types of regulations as long as they stayed within state grounds.
The court ruled that the state law was in no way in violation of the 14th amendment and that no difference was seen between the riding carts and that the separation was put in place due to a public policy. Justice Brown stated, "We consider the underlying fallacy of the plaintiff's argument to consist in the assumption that the enforced separation of the two races stamps the colored race with a badge of inferiority. If this be so, it is not by reason of anything found in the act, but solely because the colored race chooses to put that construction upon it."
Because of the two different statements Furman gave, he was found guilty because of his own ability to give a single statement on what had occurred.
Because of Georgia law, Furman was sentenced to death; but the sentence was never carried out.
In a 5-4 decision, the Court's one-page per curiam opinion held that the obligation of the death penalty in these cases constituted cruel and unusual punishment and was in violation of the Constitution
The Court's decision forced states and the national legislature to rethink their statutes for capital offenses to state that the death penalty wouldn’t be carried out in a unreliable or discriminatory manner.
Even though Furman didn't have the entire approval of the panel of judges, he still had a chance of winning. The Supreme Court split five to four to overturning the obligation of the death penalty in each of the consolidated cases.