Capitol Crimes During The Ante-Bellum Era

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During the ante-bellum period a small group of free blacks lived in the south. These Negros had very limited rights. Whites feared their influence on the slaves and thought they could incite rebellion. As a result, the southern states enacted laws to limit the freedom of the free blacks. Laws were enacted specifically dealing with the crime of the free blacks. Crimes including “Robbery, burglary, and arson were included in the crimes punishable by hanging.” In Georgia free blacks that committed capitol crimes where tried in the Superior Court. All capitol crimes which the punishment is death which includes rape, or attempted rape on white female; murder of a free white; murder of a slave or free person of color; or, poisoning of a human being.

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