Scopes Trial

Topics: Creationism, Evolution, Scopes Trial, United States, American Civil Liberties Union, Law / Pages: 1 (254 words) / Published: Apr 15th, 2015
Scopes Monkey Trial

The Scopes Monkey Trial was perhaps one of the most famous trials in our history. John Scopes was a high school teacher in Dayton, Tennessee, and was arrested because he was teaching the theory of evolution in his high school biology class. During the 1920’s it was against the law to teach anything other than the theory of creation as written in the Bible. These laws were a result of a strong fundamentalist movements spreading throughout the United States. In 1925 the American Civil Liberties Union volunteered to defend any teacher willing to challenge these laws concerning the teaching evolution. John Scopes agreed to their challenge, and after teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution. Scopes arrest duly followed. The trial began on in 1925. Scopes was unsure whether he had ever actually taught evolution, but he purposely incriminated himself so that the case could have a defendant. The trial served its purpose of drawing intense national publicity, as national reporters flocked to Dayton to cover the big-name lawyers who had agreed to represent each side. On July 21st, 1925 the trial ends with guilty verdict. The sentence was appealed to the Tennessee Supreme Court, which upheld the Dayton sentence, but set the sentence aside on a legal technicality that the jury had not set the fine levied against Scopes. The Butler Act would not be repealed by the Tennessee state legislature until 1967. The U.S Supreme Court would declare similar laws to be unconstitutional in an Arkansas case in 1968.

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