New Study Says Racial Lynchings Have Been Underestimated

EJI Lynching in America SUMMARY copyA new report from the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit legal group based in Montgomery Alabama, finds that lynching in America in the period after the Civil War through the civil rights era was more commonplace than previous studies have indicated.

The report says that in the 1877-to-1950 period, at least 3,959 Black people were killed in “racial terror lynchings.” This is 700 more than has been documented in previous reports. The authors of the report included only those incidents where Blacks were killed by a group of three or more people and were reported in a newspaper. The authors state that lynchings were public events and were used to instill fear in the African American population. Therefore, they believe most racial terror lynchings were widely reported.

The full report, Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror, can be downloaded by clicking here.

The Equal Justice Initiative litigates on behalf of condemned prisoners, juvenile offenders, people wrongly convicted or charged with violent crimes, poor people denied effective representation, and others whose trials are marked by racial bias or prosecutorial misconduct. More information on the institute can be found here.

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