Justice Denied

On August 4, 1919, a grand jury issued an indictment that declared that “one Walter Colvin, one Charles Johnson, one John Green, and one Frank Coachman” were guilty of murdering “Morris Lazzeroni” during the Chicago Race Riots.

Morris Lazzeroni wasn’t the victim’s name. Nor was it clear that any of the four school boys listed in the indictment had anything to do with a death during Chicago’s racist violence. What the subsequent trial made clear, however, was how badly the legal system failed. As I show in my book, the courts made no attempt to even try to do justice.


Writer. Formerly civil rights attorney. Currently professor. Working on new book about mental disability and criminal law in the 20th century.

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