If secession was treason, why wasn't anyone prosecuted for treason? Why wasn't Davis prosecuted even though he was imprisoned for a long period of time? Post Civil War the SCOTUS was packed with Lincolnites that made decisions based upon political allegiances instead of Constitutionality. It was the same then as it will be after Obama packs the SCOTUS with his ilk.
The decision not to prosecute treason was political but not made by SCOTUS. It was a decison of theexecutive branch. As to the author’s contention that Chase contradicted himself by declaring that the union of states was declared perpetual by the Articles. He asks how can the Articles declaration be used when they were replaced. But the Articles never claimed to be perpetual. It claimed the Union of States was perpetual. That is what Chase referenced. The adoption of the Constitution did nt abrogate laws passed under its auspices. The Northwest Ordinance remained law of the land and the statehoods of the Old NW were governed bythat law. The passing of the Articles had no bearing on the nature of the perpetual Union.
posted on 01/10/2013 7:47:14 AM PST
posted on 01/10/2013 7:58:28 PM PST
(Blunderbuss: A short weapon, ... now superceded in civilized countries by more advanced weaponry.)
To: vetvetdoug; rockrr; donmeaker; x; central_va; Sherman Logan; SeekAndFind; xkaydet65; WhiskeyX
vetvetdoug: "If secession was treason, why wasn't anyone prosecuted for treason? Why wasn't Davis prosecuted even though he was imprisoned for a long period of time?"
First of all, even if you believe that citizens of Confederate states could not legally commit "treason" against the United States -- since they were then part of a "different country" -- citizens of Union states who gave "aid and comfort" to the Confederacy did meet the Constitution's clear and simple definition of "treason".
And yet, during the entire Civil War period, only three incidents resulted in convictions for treason, and all seven people hanged were civilians:
- John Brown and Aaron Stevens were hanged for treason against Virginia for his 1859 raid on Harper's Ferry.
- William Mumford was hanged in New Orleans, in 1862 for the crime of, basically, p*ss*ng off "Beast" Butler.
- Mary Surratt, Lewis Powell, David Herold, and George Atzerodt were hanged for treason in the assassination of President Lincoln.
After the war, a number of Confederate leaders were indicted for treason -- including Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee -- but all received blanket amnesty from President Johnson (Democrat from Tennessee) on his leaving office in 1869.
"On May 29, 1865, President Andrew Johnson issued a Proclamation of Amnesty and Pardon to persons who had participated in the rebellion against the United States.
There were fourteen excepted classes, though, and members of those classes had to make special application to the President.
"President Andrew Johnson, in a proclamation dated December 25, 1868 (15 Stat. 711), gave an unconditional pardon to those who "directly or indirectly" rebelled against the United States.
... unconditionally, and without reservation, to all and every person who directly or indirectly participated in the late insurrection or rebellion, a full pardon and amnesty for the offense of treason against the United States, or of adhering to their enemies during the late civil war, with restoration of all rights, privileges, and immunities under the Constitution and the laws which have been made in pursuance thereof."
Bottom line -- President Lincoln's peace offer to the Confederacy amounted to: Unconditional Surrender in exchange for no treason trials.
posted on 01/11/2013 6:53:33 AM PST
(a little historical perspective....)
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson