Summoned at Midnight

A Story of Race and the Last Military Executions at Fort Leavenworth
eAudio - unabridged
Audio (8.92 hours)
Product Number: Z100144535
Released: Feb 05, 2019
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9780807081440
Narrator/s: Jeff Zinn
Publisher: Beacon Press
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Description

Uncovers the hidden world of the military legal system and the intimate history of racism that pervaded the armed forces long after integration. Richard A. Serrano reveals how racial discrimination in the US military criminal justice system determined whose lives mattered and deserved a second chance and whose did not. Between 1955 and 1961, a group of white and black condemned soldiers lived together on death row at Fort Leavenworth military prison. Although convicted of equally heinous crimes, all the white soldiers were eventually paroled and returned to their families, spared by high-ranking army officers, the military courts, sympathetic doctors, highly trained attorneys, the White House staff, or President Eisenhower himself. During the same 6-year period, only black soldiers were hanged. Some were cognitively challenged, others addicted to substances or mentally unbalanced-the same mitigating circumstances that had won white soldiers their death row reprieves. These men lacked the benefits of political connections, expert lawyers, or public support; only their mothers begged fruitlessly for their lives to be spared. By 1960, John Bennett was the youngest black inmate at Fort Leavenworth. His lost battle for clemency was fought between 2 vastly different presidential administrations-Eisenhower's and Kennedy's-as the civil rights movement was gaining steam. Drawing on interviews, trial transcripts, and rarely published archival material, Serrano brings to life the characters in this lost history: from desperate mothers and disheartened appeals lawyers, to the prison doctors, psychiatrists, and chaplains. He shines a light on the scandalous legal maneuvering that reached the doors of the White House and the disparity in capital punishment that was cut so strictly along racial lines.

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Author(s): Richard A. Serrano
Original Publish Date: Feb 05, 2019

All formats/editions

CD
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Author(s): Richard A. Serrano
Product Number DD43223
Released: Feb 05, 2019
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781974936380
eBook
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Author(s): Richard A. Serrano
Product Number EB00725191
Released: Feb 05, 2019
Business Term: Purchase
Publisher: Beacon Press
ISBN: #9780807061039

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