Famous Race Trials
Famous trials that have addressed, or been strongly influenced by, issues of race.

by Douglas O. Linder (2014)

"The Negro Plot"
Trials (1741)

Celia, A Slave
Trial (1855)

  Sheriff Shipp
Trial (1907-09)  

Stephenson (Indiana
Klan) Trial (1924)
Sweet Trials
  Sweet Trials
 (1925 & 1926)

Scottsboro Boys Trial
Scottsboro Boys
 Trials (1931-1937)

Brown v Topeka
Board of Ed. (1951)

Emmett Till Murder
Trial (1955)

Nelson Mandela
Trial (1963-64)

Mississippi Burning
Trial (1967)

Bernhard Goetz
Trial (1987)
Rodney King beating trial
LAPD (King  Beating)
 Trial (1992)

O. J. Simpson
Trial (1995)

Zimmerman ("Trayvon Shooting") 
Trial (2013)

Other famous trials with significant issues relating to race:

Dakota Conflict Trials (1862)
Lincoln Conspiracy
Trial (1865)
Louis Riel Trial (1885)
Massie Trials (1931 & 1932)
Patty Hearst Trial (1976)
Leonard Peltier Trial (1977)

Profiles in Courage:  Key Participants in Some of America's Great Race-Related Trials:

Lewis Tappan:
The early abolitionist most responsible for securing freedom for the Africans of the Amistad.

Judge James Horton:
The judge who set aside the jury verdict in the "Scottsboro Boys" trial--at the cost of his judicial career.

Charles Hamilton Houston:
The man whose relentless fight against Jim Crow, in cases such as Gaines v. Canada, contributed to his early death.

Clarence Darrow:
The champion of racial justice who convinced an all-white Detroit jury to acquit Henry Sweet.

John Michael Doar:
The prosecutor in the "Mississippi Burning" trial who fearlessly confronted rioters, segregationist judges, and Klan members in Mississippi in the 60s.

Famous Trials Website

The materials included in the Famous Trials website are original works of authorship, government records, works for which copyright protection has expired, works reprinted with permission, or works that I believe are within the fair use protection of the copyright laws. If any author objects to the use of any work appearing in these pages, please contact me by e-mail and I will remove the work and review the propriety of including it.* This is an educational and non-commercial site maintained at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School. Doug Linder, Professor of Law (Seminar in Famous Trials).(c) 1995-2014.
*Note with respect to photographs and copyright