RKBA Activists who try to comprehend the attitude and culture of the law enforcement community in regard to the 2nd Amendment might do well to examine the history of depression era chain gangs.
Douglas Blackmon chronicles an era of judicial corruption completely invisible in contemporary public debate and yet in overall form hauntingly familar to David Olofson, Timothy Emerson, Randy Weaver and others.
The Bricks We Stand On
On March 30, 1908, Green Cottenham was arrested by the sheriff of Shelby County, Alabama, and charged with “vagrancy.” Cottenham had committed no true crime. Vagrancy, the offense of a person not being able to prove at a given moment that he or she is employed, was a new and flimsy concoction dredged up from legal obscurity at the end of the nineteenth century by the state legislatures of Alabama and other southern states.
After three days behind bars, twenty-two-year-old Cottenham was found guilty in a swift appearance before the county judge and immediately sentenced to a thirty-day term of hard labor. Unable to pay the array of fees assessed on every prisoner—fees to the sheriff, the deputy, the court clerk, the witnesses—Cottenham’s sentence was extended to nearly a year of hard labor.