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[Diritti] COURT OF APPEALS OF ALABAMA, ROLLINS v. STATE, January 17, 1922



Sulla stupidità del razzismo (o scontro di ignoranze)


Sentenza di un tribunale dell'Alabama (1922): Gli Italiani sono "non visibilmente negri"
https://web.archive.org/web/20120313112550/http://web.jjay.cuny.edu/~thematic/umbach/fallpolice/rollins.html


ROLLINS v. STATE.

No. 6 Div. 927.

COURT OF APPEALS OF ALABAMA

18 Ala. App. 354; 92 So. 35; 1922 Ala. App.

January 17, 1922, Decided

PRIOR HISTORY:

Appeal from Circuit Court, Jefferson County; H. P. Heflin, Judge.

Jim Rollins was convicted for miscegenation, and he appeals. Reversed and remanded.

COUNSEL:

Roderick Beddow and Ben F. Ray, both of Birmingham, for appellant.

Harwell G. Davis, Atty. Gen., for the State.

JUDGES:

BRICKEN, P. J.

OPINION:

BRICKEN, P. J. The defendant was convicted of miscegenation under an indictment which charges that Edith Labue, a white person, and Jim Rollins alias, etc., a negro or descendant of a negro, did intermarry or live in adultery or fornication with each other, etc.

It cannot be seriously questioned that in the absence of the alleged confessions of this defendant the evidence adduced upon the trial of this case is too vague and uncertain, and therefore insufficient to overcome the presumption of innocence, evidentiary in its nature, which as a matter of law attended this defendant on his entering upon this trial; and, in the absence of the alleged confession the evidence in our opinion did not meet the burden of proof required of the state. And as the so-called confessions were for two reasons improperly admitted, it must necessarily cause a reversal of the judgment of conviction. The confessions were improperly admitted, first, because at the time they were offered the corpus delicti had not been proven, nor was there any evidence from which it could be inferred. At that time there was no evidence whatever to sustain the material allegation that Edith Labue, the codefendant, was a white woman, or that the defendant was a negro or a descendant of a negro. There was no competent evidence to show that the woman in question, Edith Labue, was a white woman, or that she did not have negro blood in her veins and was not the descendant of a negro. This fact was essential to a conviction in this case, and, like any other material ingredient of the offense must be proven by the evidence beyond a reasonable doubt and to a moral  certainty. The mere fact that the testimony showed this woman came from Sicily can in no sense be taken as conclusive that she was therefore a white woman, or that she was not a negro or a descendant of a negro.

   Other questions are presented; but, as what has been said in conclusion of this appeal,  there appears no necessity to discuss them. For the errors pointed out let the judgment of conviction pronounced against this defendant in the circuit court be reversed, and the cause remanded.

   Reversed and remanded.