Citizens' Committee for the Defense of Mexican-American Youth.
Title The Sleepy Lagoon Case.
Book Condition Collectible: Like New
Edition First Edition, first printing.
Publisher Los Angeles, CA: Citizens' Committee for the Defense of Mexican-American Youth. 1942
Seller ID EOHG417-009
FIRST EDITION, first printing of 10,000 copies. Stapled Pamphlet. 6 1/8 x 5 inches. [ii], (30) pp. Foreword by Orson Welles, 1 page of reproductions of newspaper headlines that issued a guilty verdict in the press, but outside of the courtroom; text clean, unmarked. Printed wrappers, stapled; binding square and tight, staples rusted, but does not affect the paper. Fine. Foreword by Orson Welles, which quotes Pete Vasquez who was a resident of the Sleepy Lagoon neighborhood, who explained social conditions not unlike those in Ferguson Missouri in August 2014. The "Sleepy Lagoon Murder" was the name that Los Angeles newspapers used to describe the death of Jose Gallardo Diaz who was discovered unconscious and dying on a road near a swimming hole (known as Sleepy Lagoon) in Commerce, California on the morning of August 2, 1942. Diaz was taken by ambulance to Los Angeles County General Hospital, where he died shortly after, never having regained consciousness. The hospital autopsy showed that Diaz was inebriated from a party the previous night and had a fracture at the base of his skull. This might have been caused by repeated falls or an automobile accident. The cause of his death remains a mystery to this day. However, Los Angeles Police were quick to arrest 17 Mexican-American youth as suspects. Despite insufficient evidence, the young men were held in prison, without bail, on charges of murder. The resulting criminal trial is now generally viewed as lacking in the fundamental requirements of due process. The trial ended on January 13, 1943, under Judge Charles W. Fricke. Nine of the defendants were convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to serve time in San Quentin Prison. The rest of the suspects were charged with lesser offenses and incarcerated in Los Angeles County Jail. The convictions were reversed on appeal in 1944. The case is considered a precursor to the Zoot Suit Riots of 1943. Three cheers for the Citizen's Committee for the Defense of Mexican-American Youth, and other activist organizations that worked for a fair trial and the reversal of the convictions in the Sleepy Lagoon Murder case!
Citizens' Committee for the Defense of Mexican-American Youth, The Sleepy Lagoon Case,