Today we each presented to the class in order to finalize our research topics and receive any feedback or criticism pertaining to our research. My presentation went well but I am still working on narrowing my topic. Some would think that the relationship between the criminal justice system and lynching in Louisiana from 1900 to 1930 is a pretty narrow topic but as I am reading more sources I realize that I will need to be more concise in just twenty pages. I am considering focusing on the rituals used in lynchings, which often mimicked those of formal capital punishment.
I started this blog in order to organize my thoughts and keep track of primary sources. Many of the things I post on here I will not actually be able to use in my research, as they concern other states or periods of time, but I want to post them in order to remember the purpose of my research. The lynchings that occurred in the South were examples of systemic extra-legal violence that were usually condoned, participated in, or ignored by the community as a whole while victims of lynch mobs lost their lives in a process that rendered them unable to receive the rights of due process granted to them under the United States Constitution.
“Yet, in broad context, lynching formed a relatively minor component in the series of practices that sustained racial control in the region. Instead sugar and cotton planters in South Louisiana manipulated plantation arrangements and the criminal justice system to ensure the maintenance of white supremacy.”—Micheal J. Pfeifer