Between 1818 and 1940, the state hanged eight hundred people, 80 percent of whom were black. Those, of course, were the judicial hangings for rapists and murderers who had been processed through the courts. During that same period of time, approximately six hundred black men were lynched by mobs operating outside the legal system and thoroughly immune from any of its repercussions.
He smiled and seemed warm and thoroughly honored to be there doing what he was doing, defending a fine man who had defended our country. He lobbed a few questions at the panel as a whole, then he zeroed in on a couple of Methodists, but for the most part his comments were designed not to uncover some hidden bias, but rather to convey warmth, trust, and likability.