The Trial of the Lincoln Assassination Conspirators:
Questions for Study

1.  What advantages, from the standpoint of the Johnson Administration, did a trial by military commission have over a civilian trial?
2.  Was the use of a military trial constitutional?
3.  On a scale of 1 (kangaroo court) to 10 (model of due process), how fair was the trial?  What seemed most unfair about the trial?
4.  What were the prosecution's main goals?  Were they accomplished?
5.  How many conspiracies were there, under the prosecution's theory?
6.  Did all of the defendants deserve to be convicted?  If some did not, which should have been acquitted?
7.  Was there any chance that Herold, Atzerodt, or Powell could have been spared?
8.  Was it constitutional for President Johnson to enter an order denying any review of the decision to execute Mary Surratt?
9.  Was Jefferson Davis aware of Booth's conspiracy?  If so, did he approve the plot?
10.  Should Jefferson Davis have been tried for war crimes?


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