Salem Witch Trials

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    Ikran Abdisalam
1/18/2012

Unjustified Killings

In the United States, up until the lethal injection was introduced in 1980, execution by hanging was the most popular legal and some times unlawful form of putting criminals to death. In some cases, innocent people were irrationally hung or lynched with no evidence of criminality. This occurred in a more recent historical event, The Duluth lynching’s. The 1920 Duluth lynching occurred on June 15, 1920 when three black circus workers were attacked and illegally lynched by a mob in Duluth, Minnesota. Those innocent deaths led by false accusations supported with no evidence, fear and motives can relate to those wrongfully and legally hung in The Salem Witch trials. Even though the trials took place three centuries ago, similar unjustified deaths and persecution of people based on fear and social instability continued on to the 20th century.  In the year 1920, America was in the midst of a violent period of racial discrimination and conflicts. One summer night June 14, 1920,Irene Tusken, age nineteen, and James Sullivan, eighteen, went to the circus in Duluth.  Sullivan’s father, James Sullivan, called the Duluth Police Chief John Murphy the next morning saying six black circus workers had held the pair at gunpoint and then raped Irene Tusken. The news of the alleged rape spread very quickly and six blacks were immediately arrested and held at the Duluth city jail. That evening a white mob, estimated to be around 1,000 and 10,00 gathered around Superior Street outside the police station. The police didn’t resist the mob since they were ordered not to use guns; this made it easier for the mobs to break in and capture the accused black men. The three men were beaten and then lynched, first Isaac McGhee, then Elmer Jackson, and lastly Elias Clayton (“Duluth Lynching’s Online”). From the Minneapolis Journal, July 30, 1920 it was said, “Little evidence would be found to corroborate these claims. An examination by a family doctor reported no evidence of assault of rape.” (“Journal”)  Even with no physical evidence of assault or rape after being examined by a doctor the men were arrested with “alleged rape” against the 19 year old, Irene Tusken, and some were horribly lynched and beaten. The fact that Irene was examined by a family doctor and reported no sign of assault or rape was never used to bring up in the trials of Duluth Lynching’s. Irene unjustly accused these men which

    Ikran Abdisalam
1/18/2012

Unjustified Killings

In the United States, up until the lethal injection was introduced in 1980, execution by hanging was the most popular legal and some times unlawful form of putting criminals to death. In some cases, innocent people were irrationally hung or lynched with no evidence of criminality. This occurred in a more recent historical event, The Duluth lynching’s. The 1920 Duluth lynching occurred on June 15, 1920 when three black circus workers were attacked and illegally lynched by a mob in Duluth, Minnesota. Those innocent deaths led by false accusations supported with no evidence, fear and motives can relate to those wrongfully and legally hung in The Salem Witch trials. Even though the trials took place three centuries ago, similar unjustified deaths and persecution of people based on fear and social instability continued on to the 20th century.  In the year 1920, America was in the midst of a violent period of racial discrimination and conflicts. One summer night June 14, 1920,Irene Tusken, age nineteen, and James Sullivan, eighteen, went to the circus in Duluth.  Sullivan’s father, James Sullivan, called the Duluth Police Chief John Murphy the next morning saying six black circus workers had held the pair at gunpoint and then raped Irene Tusken. The news of the alleged rape spread very quickly and six blacks were immediately arrested and held at the Duluth city jail. That evening a white mob, estimated to be around 1,000 and 10,00 gathered...
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