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United States v. Harris

106 U.S. 629, 16 Otto 629 (1883)

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United States v. Harris

United States Supreme Court

106 U.S. 629, 16 Otto 629 (1883)

Facts

Harris (defendant), a local sheriff, was involved in a lynch mob that broke into a Tennessee jail to attack four Black men. The men were beaten by the mob, and one died. The federal government (plaintiff) brought charges against Harris under Section 5519 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, which made it a crime for two or more people to conspire to deprive a person of equal protection under the law. On appeal, Harris argued that Congress does not have the power to demand equal treatment by all citizens. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Woods, J.)

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