“Separate but equal” decision of the same name Plessy in favor of pardon | News from USA®


NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Homer Plessy, the namesake of the “separate but equal” United States Supreme Court decision of 1896, is under consideration for a posthumous pardon.

Plessy, a Creole man of color, is featured on the role of the Louisiana Board of Pardon for a 9 a.m. hearing Friday, The Times-Picayune / The New Orleans Advocate reported. The panel will assess whether to clear Plessy’s name, a move that will ultimately need to be approved by Gov. John Bel Edwards.

In 1892, Plessy was arrested in New Orleans for refusing to leave a white train car. He boarded it as part of a civil rights group’s efforts to challenge a state law that imposed separate seats.

The Supreme Court ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson that state racial segregation laws did not violate the Constitution as long as the racing facilities were of equal quality.

Plessy pleaded guilty to breaking the Separate Car Act a year later and was fined $ 25. He died in 1925 with the conviction still on his record.

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The descendants of Plessy and John Howard Ferguson, the judge who oversaw his case in the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court, became friends decades later and formed a nonprofit campaigning for the civic rights education.

Other recent efforts have recognized Plessy’s role in history, including a 2018 New Orleans City Council vote to rename a section of the street where he attempted to board the train in his honor.

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