trial for murder
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I don't really think Bigger recieved a fair trial because of the state of black/white relations at the time. Check out this excerpt,
Wright illustrates the media's position in the criminal system, as well as those of politicians and ambitious lawyers. The media advertises it's version of a criminal story, which will include the role the politicians and lawyers play.
If a politician wants to be re-elected, he had better do what the public (meaning the voting white public) wants him to do. The same goes for the prosecutor. It is important for him to prove the animalistic behavior of the black man, so that the black man will be found guilty. A prosecutor who wins a case like Bigger Thomas' will be guaranteed work and a large income. The hypocrisy of the justice system, though, is that the prosecutor does not have to work hard to prove Bigger is guilty, because racism has already decided he is guilty. Bigger killed Mary Dalton, a white woman, and is now going to trial for it.
However, this trial is not made up of his peers, but rather a jury of 12 white men who 'know' how evil the blacks are and have already sealed Bigger's fate "before his case has even been presented. Bigger does not get the fair trial he is entitled to or the chance to defend himself. Wright depicts the justice system motto, 'equal justice under law,' as being neither equal nor just, but so corrupted by prejudice that the motto has no meaning at all."