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Virginia v. Black

United States Supreme Court
538 U.S. 343 (2003)


Facts

Barry Black (defendant) was convicted of violating a Virginia statute which made it illegal to burn a cross if the burning was done with intent to intimidate someone. The statute also stated that the burning of a cross in itself is prima facie evidence of intent to intimidate. At trial, the court instructed the jury that the burning of the cross itself was sufficient to infer the required intent. Black appealed and the Supreme Court of Virginia reversed. The prosecution appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (O’Connor, J.)

Concurrence (Stevens, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Scalia, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Souter, J.)

Dissent (Thomas, J.)

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