Race and Place Newspapers

Richmond Planet

Newspaper Information
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Date of Publication: December 09, 1893 (Saturday)
Frequency: Weekly
Article Transcripts

Page 03

Column 02
Legal Farces

Transcript of Article

Lynchings have their origin in the delay and miscarriage of justice in courts, and in the same public sentiment which is protesting against lynching may be found equally strong appeals for speedy trials and prompt punishment of criminals.

The latest and best illustration of the extent to which the jury farce sometime goes, is given in the recent trials of the Roanoke rioters. They were found guilty of the crime of murder and yet were released after receiving a punishment far too light for simple assault. Much better, it seems to us, to have failed to convict, then to have declared them guilty and then pronounced a sentence which carried with it the idea that the offense was insignificant. The men either did not merit any punishment, and should have been given medals for brave conduct, or they should have been made to pay the full penalty for unjustifiable murder. As it is, the verdict is a farce and a contradiction. It means nothing and will be a disappointment to the good citizens of Roanoke who expected law and order to receive some vindication at the hands of those who are supposed to protect them from insult.

The Roanoke jury has argued strongly that lynchings are necessary for meting out full justice. It has besmirched instead of protecting its own good name.

Summary of Article
This editorial, adopted from the Charlottesville Progress, discusses some of the current problems with the legal system and, more specifically, criminal sentencing. In this context, the editorial argues that lynching has failed to remedy a legal system that often renders unjust and inequitable sentencing. As example, the author draws on the trial of several Roanoke rioters who were convicted of murder. Despite the conviction, however, the rioters were released and suffered only mild punishment.

Column 03
Color Servant Remembered-Two Thousands Dollars Left Him by His Former Employer

Transcript of Article

The will of the late Alfred W. Shields, whose estate is estimated at $20,000, was recorded in the Henrico Circuit Court yesterday morning.

Under the provisions of the document the farm and improvements thereon, stock, furniture, etc., in the late home of the deceased, near Glen Allen, is bequeathed to his two colored servants, Overton Harris and Sally A. Harris. The servants legacy is valued at about $2,000. The residue of the estate, consisting of stock, bonds and real estate is bequeathed to the University of Virginia. The will is dated August 19, '93.

The University will receive about $17,000. Harris is reputed to be a very worthy, hard-working colored man, and is highly spoken of by gentlemen who know him.

Mr. Shields was a widower, without children. He was formerly a member of the grocery firm of Shields & Cary, who did business on Broad street between Sixth and Seventh. Before the war, he was United States consul to a French port.

Summary of Article
This article discusses the will of the late Alfred W. Shields. In the will, the late black businessman stipulates how his $20,000 estate should be divided among surviving parties. The article mentions that two servants of the late Shields would receive $2,000 and the University of Virginia would receive $17,000 in stocks, bonds, and real estate.

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