Jim Crow era convictions need to expunged, and the victims need to be compensated

Jim Crow legally lasted up until 1965 (and really lasted longer). There are black persons who are still in prison who were convicted of crimes under this racist system. These convictions cannot be trusted regardless of what the evidence looks like. These convicted individuals need to be re-tried. Any person that the state cannot re-convict should be compensated at a rate of $25 million a year for every year he (or she) has spent in prison plus a $100 million dollars for the conviction itself.

We should also look at convictions where the person has already been been released. A special system should be set up where if the state cannot establish the crime (or misdemeanor), the conviction will be expunged and the formally convicted person will be compensated at the same rate as above (with $50 million for a misdemeanor conviction and $100 million for a felony conviction).

Those individuals that are re-convicted get nothing for their prison or jail time, but they still get the $50 million or $100 million for the original conviction.

And these re-trials and reviews should really be necessitated for any conviction that happened before Batson v. Kentucky.

I don’t think I buy into your reasoning that every conviction should be tossed, although any questionable ones should be reviewed (if that hasn’t happened already), and between the trial and settlement costs, your plan sounds absurdly unaffordable. Did you arrive at that figure by any particular reasoning, or does it just sound like a nice, round number? And do you have any idea how many people this would apply to?

Why even bother including the part about re-trying people? What evidence or witnesses from 45+ years ago is going to be available today?
And under your figures you’re talking about a minimum of $1.225B per person for someone still in prison. How is that number reasonable or even slightly practical?

On March 6, 1961, Executive Order 10935 was signed, marking the beginning of Affirmative Action. Every white person in the country should get $100 million dollars, and $25 million per year for every year since.

What? Makes just as much sense as the OP!

In terms of feasability, giving every black person with a pre-1965 conviction $50 million for a misdemeanor and $100 million for a felony plus $25 million a year for each year in prison is about as doable as giving them a unicorn that poops wishes. We don’t even compensate exonerated death row inmates that much.

Yes, if you’re going to do it, a better standard would be the wages that they might have expected to earn outside prison, so divide those figures by a thousand to give something more realistic (i.e, something like $25,000 per year).

Only a racist would compare denial of basic human rights with affirmative action.

They are not just being compensated for lost wages. They are being compensated for being denied basic human rights.

Knock it off. Insults aren’t allowed in this forum and you do not get to degrade someone’s character for disagreeing with your premise. Your thread topics have been too ridiculous to take seriously and if you’re going to insult people on top of that, your threads will get locked in a hurry.

If I had offered you a $100 million plus $25 million a year when you were 20 years old to spend the next 45+ years in prison, would you have taken the deal?

Now, that I think about it, the amount I gave is not enough. It should be a minimum of $50 billion for anyone that spent over 40 years in prison. Would you agree to spend the majority of your life in prison for $50 billion? Maybe it should even more.

If insults are not allowed, why are you insulting–and allowing others to insult–my arguments? Why are those insults okay?

Why is it ridiculous to think that people who were denied basic human should be fully compensated for the human rights denials? Are human rights ridiculous?

I’m not a mod, but even without the rules of the SDMB you should know to attack the argument, not the person. Say, “This argument is racist,” but not “The person making this argument is racist.”

Who here has family members that were abused by the Jim Crow system?

For those that did not, how would you expect the government to compensate your son if they took away his freedom for the majority of his life without due process?

They can call your arguments foolish, they cannot call you a fool.


Insulting an argument is allowed. Insulting another poster is not.

Compensation isn’t ridiculous. The ideas you’re proposing are kind of ridiculous and the numbers are totally absurd. So far I’m surprised you haven’t suggested the imprisoned get eleventy gajillion dollars per year.

The federal government should also seek ongoing conspiracy convictions against any state official that played any role in any state or local government that operated under Jim Crow.

Only when the victims and been compensated and the perpetrators are in prison, can we move forward as a nation.

There are surviving police officers who turned fire hoses and dogs on men, women, and children. These surviving police officers have never spent any time in prison. They should spend the rest of their lives in prison.

Including the black ones?


Give me your honest answer: at 20 years old, how much money would you have required to agree to spend 45+ years in prison without due process? Would you have agreed to do it for $50 billion? The fact is no amount is really enough. We should error on the side of a really high number.

This idea is absurd, what honestly did you expect, everyone to say “Hey that’s a great idea, wish I’d thought of that!”.

Clearly it is not wrong to revisit past convictions that may’ve been unjust, but expunging all convictions, even those which are not questionable is silly and the compensation scheme proposed is absurdly unrealistic.