Criminal Justice: In the Shadow of the Chair

After more than 13 years on Death Row—the longest such period in U.S. history—two convicted Negro rapists were ordered freed last week by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans. The court ruled that Edgar Labat, 43, and Clifton Alton Poret, 37, had been denied fair trial by the all-white jury system of Orleans Parish (then 32% Negro), which had never allowed a single Negro to serve on a criminal jury.

Labat and Poret were charged with raping a young white woman, who was wrenched from her escort's...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!