JUDICIARY: Black Red Freed

One day in the bleak, jittery summer of 1932 a 19-year-old Negro communist organizer named Angelo Herndon led a hunger march of unemployed on Atlanta's courthouse. A few days later he was arrested, held for eleven days without charges. Then Atlanta prosecutors dusted off a Reconstruction law providing the death penalty for "any attempt ... to induce others to join in any combined resistance to the lawful authority of the State." In all its 66 years no one had ever been convicted under that statute. Chiefly on the evidence of communist pamphlets found in his possession, a Georgia...

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