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Justice Bound: Aframericans, Crime, and Criminal Justice in Georgia, 1751--1865
  • Glenn McNair
"Justice Bound: Aframericans, Crime and Criminal Justice in Georgia, 1751-1865," is an examination of criminal law, criminal procedure, slave patrols, courts, and plantation mechanisms of judgment and punishment. After presenting the institutional functions of these components of the criminal justice system I provide a demographic and/or biographical overview of representative persons who administered the system. I also examine the actual operation of the system, how Aframericans were treated by it, how effective it was in meeting its goals and objectives, and what forces shaped and changed it. To date, no study has examined each of these major components of a system of criminal law and justice for colonial and antebellum Aframericans and their relationship to each other. Such partial examination has resulted in an incomplete understanding of contemporary criminal justice reality because each part of the system relied on the others for its proper functioning. I also explore Aframerican crime in order to determine who were its perpetrators and victims, and why and how it was committed. At the end of this systemic examination I argue that Aframericans in Georgia engaged in much of their criminal activity as a direct result of the conditions they were forced to endure as slaves and socially degraded free blacks in a violent region. Once they had committed acts defined as criminal Aframericans were thrust into an illegitimate but extremely efficient criminal justice system that treated them far more severely than their white counterparts. This system was driven by the imperatives of chattel slavery and white supremacy.

Publication Date
PhD at Emory University
James L. Roark
Citation Information
Glenn McNair. "Justice Bound: Aframericans, Crime, and Criminal Justice in Georgia, 1751--1865" (2001)
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