Saturday, December 1, 2007

Army Pays $725 in Set-Aside World War II Case - New York Times

Army Pays $725 in Set-Aside World War II Case, N.Y. Times, Dec. 1, 2007.

A month after the Army said it made a mistake when it court-martialed Samuel Snow and 27 other black soldiers in World War II, the Pentagon has cut Mr. Snow a check for back pay, money withheld while he served a year in prison on a rioting conviction.

The check was for $725. No interest. No adjustment for inflation.
The court-martial stemmed from a riot -- black soldiers (in a Jim Crow Army) against Italian prisoners of war -- at Fort Lawton in Seattle. (Fort Lawton was one of the Army's main feeders to the Pacific Theater during World War II. Discovery Park is now on the site.)

I missed posting about the Army's ruling in October: 1944 Conviction of Black G.I.’s Is Ruled Flawed, N.Y. Times, Oct. 27, 2007.
The [Board for Correction of Military Records] found that the court-martial was flawed, that the defense was unjustly rushed and that the prosecutor, Leon Jaworski, a young lieutenant colonel who went on to fame three decades later as a Watergate special prosecutor, had important evidence that he did not share with defense lawyers.

The Army reviewed the case, after a resolution from the House of Representatives, inspired by Jack Hamann's book, On American Soil: How Justice Became a Casualty of World War II (D805.5.F66 H36 2005 at Good Reads). See Hamann's website for more. See earlier posts too.

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