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Lee v. Washington

The Facts Of The Case

The state of Alabama had a law on its books that mandated racial segregation in the state penal system and in county, city, and town jails. A group of prisoners being incarcerated in Alabama brought a class action suit challenging the statute. They sought an injunction to halt the implementation of the segregation system and to have the statute declared unconstitutional. The prisoners' suit was successful. A three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama entered a decree declaring the segregation statutes to be in violation of the prisoners' rights under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. The district court also set up a timetable for desegregation of Alabama's prisons and jails. However, Frank Lee, the Commissioner of Corrections for the state of Alabama, brought a direct appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case in November of 1967.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1963 to 1972Lee v. Washington - The Facts Of The Case, The Supreme Court Rules, Concurring Opinion, Prisoner Lawsuits, Further Readings