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Eugene Backstron receives greetings from Los Angeles Civil Rights Congress upon his release from jail, 1950, Los Angeles

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Title:Eugene Backstron receives greetings from Los Angeles Civil Rights Congress upon his release from jail, 1950, Los Angeles
Date:1950
Description:

Photograph of Eugene Backstron, second from right, shaking hands with his attorney, Herbert Simmons, after Backstron is released from a Los Angeles jail. Marguerite Robinson, left, executive secretary of the Los Angeles Civil Rights Congress (CRC), and CRC staff members Celia Rodriguez, second from left, and Shifra Meyers, right, join in the celebration. The CRC waged a successful legal battle to prevent Backstron from being extradited to Mississippi. Backstron's case originated in 1929, when he was sentenced to a seven-year term in a Mississippi jail for stealing food from a grocery store. Scott later escaped with another prisoner, but was arrested on a vagrancy charge in Tennessee. While in jail, Tennessee authorities discovered his identity, and sent him back to the Mississippi prison. In Mississippi, he was told that the man with whom he had escaped from prison had stolen $8, and Scott was an accessory to the crime. Backstron received a life sentence for this robbery. Backstron escaped after serving 11 years, and eventually moved to Los Angeles in 1949. One night while taking a walk, Los Angeles police questioned Backstron and found a gun and screw driver in the valise he was carrying. They charged him with burglary, but dropped this charge when they learned Backstron was wanted by the state of Mississippi for escaping from prison. The Los Angeles Civil Rights Congress, with help from the ACLU, NAACP and numerous labor unions, urged California Gov. Earl Warren to refuse to extradite Backstron to Mississippi, without success. CRC then filed a lawsuit to prevent extradition. A Los Angeles judge eventually declared that the State of California had a responsibility to prevent a person from receiving cruel and unusual punishment in Mississippi, and released Backstron from jail.

Local identification number: scl-m0326

Local identification number: scl-mss064-0326~1; scl-mss064-0326~2

Types:Photographs | StillImage
Subjects:Meyers, Shifra | Rodriguez, Celia | Robinson, Marguerite | Simmons, Herbert | Backstron, Eugene | African Americans--Civil rights--California--Los Angeles | Extradition--United States | Civil Rights Congress (U.S.) | United States, California, Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, 34.0522342, -118.2436849
Collection:Charlotta Bass / California Eagle Photograph Collection
Institution:University of Southern California Libraries
Contributors:University of Southern California. Library | Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research
Original Material:

scl-m0000

Charlotta Bass / California Eagle Photograph Collection, 1880-1986

University of Southern California. Libraries

Rights and Usage:

http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/

Cite as: [Identification of item], Charlotta Bass / California Eagle Photograph Collection, Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research, Los Angeles

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Persistent Link to Item:http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/ref/collection/p15799coll102/id/1287