Thursday, August 2, 2012

Catlette v. United States
[132 F.2d 902, No. 4992 (1943)]:

Την εποχή
που οι ΗΠΑ
ήταν κατάφωρα μισαλλόδοξες /

The time
when USA
were grossly intolerant




The Pittsburgh Press,
June 4th 1942 / 4 Iουνίου 1942, p./σ. 29



 "That on June 28, 1940, Charles Stanley Jones and C. A. Cecil, two young, native-born citizens and residents of Mount Lookout, West Virginia, and members of the Jehovah Witness Company in that area, went to Richwood, an incorporated town within the Southern District of West Virginia, to distribute literature of said religious sect, seek converts, and secure signatures to a petition addressed to the Governor of Ohio, protesting the action of the Ohio State Fair Association in cancelling a contract for the use of the Ohio State Fair Grounds, at Columbus, Ohio, for a national convention of said sect or organization;

"That said Jones and Cecil were asked to come to State Police Headquarters at Richwood, to answer questions and under questioning by West Virginia State Policeman Bernard McLaughlin, advised him of their business and purpose in Richwood; said Jones and Cecil were thereafter questioned in said State Police Headquarters by about six members of the Richwood American Legion Post, including Lee Reese, Louis Baber, and the defendant Catlette, who accused said Jones and Cecil of being spies and Fifth Columnists and ordered Jones and Cecil to leave town within four hours; that Jones and Cecil returned to Mount Lookout, West Virginia, on the same day.

"On June 29, 1941, said Jones and Cecil, together with Walter Stull, 31; Arthur Stull, 30; Howard Stull, 20; John Leedy, 39; Harding Legg, 21; Carlton Stull, 27; and Robert Shawver, 18; also residents of Mount Lookout, returned to Richwood about 10:30 A. M. and stopped at the Town Hall, in order to present a letter to the Mayor, requesting police protection while carrying on their work as such Jehovah's Witnesses; Carlton Stull, Cecil, and Jones, leaving the other four Jehovah's Witnesses in the car, went toward the Mayor's Office, but did not find the Mayor and met the defendant Bert Stewart, who was then Chief of Police of Richwood, and the defendant Catlette, who was a Deputy Sheriff of Nicholas County acting under and pursuant to the laws of the State of West Virginia, in which county said Town of Richwood is situate. A letter was thereupon delivered to Chief of Police Stewart requesting police protection and explaining the intended activity of the group. The three were ushered into the Mayor's Office, which was also used by Catlette in the collection of taxes as a Deputy Sheriff, and who detained the Witnesses in his said office and was wearing his official badge at the time, and the defendant Stewart acted as doorkeeper.

"Thereupon, a mob gathered estimated to contain upwards of fifteen hundred persons, and other members of the American Legion arrived; that Catlette called other members of the American Legion by phone, saying among other things, `We have three of the S[ons] O[f] B[itches]'s here and we are rounding up the others'; that one Louis Baber, also a member of the local American Legion Post, brought the other four Jehovah's Witnesses into the room; that the defendant Catlette thereupon removed his badge as Deputy Sheriff of Nicholas County, West Virginia, and stated in substance and effect, `What is done from here on will not be done in the name of the law'; three of the Jehovah's Witnesses were forced to drink eight ounces of castor oil and another, who protested and at first refused, was required to drink sixteen ounces of castor oil, after having been threatened by a doctor with a stomach pump; that said seven Jehovah's Witnesses were thereupon tied along a large rope, each being fastened thereto by his left arm and some three or four feet removed from each other on the rope; that so tied they were marched to the front of the Richwood Post Office on the top of which was flying an American flag; the defendant Catlette read the preamble to the American Legion Constitution and all persons present saluted the flag, except the Jehovah's Witnesses;

"That said Jehovah's Witnesses were thereafter marched through the streets of the Town of Richwood and out of its corporate limits, yet attached to the rope, and there, released from the rope, restored to their automobiles, which had been damaged, and their other property, which had been covered with castor oil and uncomplimentary inscriptions, and advised never to return;

"That they entered the office of said Deputy Sheriff about 9:30 in the morning and were released between 3 and 4 o'clock P. M. in the afternoon of the same day, and except for said castor oil, none of said Jehovah's Witnesses received either food or drink during said hours, nor was permitted to go to a toilet;

"That between said hours no request for protection was made of the defendant Catlette and at no time did the defendant Catlette protect the Jehovah's Witnesses from the acts administered to them, but actually participated in the infliction of the same, and the only protest made during the time of such treatment was made by the Jehovah's Witness who originally refused to drink the castor oil."



* The case of Catlette v. United States
132 F.2d 902, No. 4992 (1943). *

* Chuck Smith,
"Catlette v. United States",
West Virginia State College. *




in: Derek Davis, Barry Hankins (eds.),
Baylor University Press, 2003,
pp 159-165.




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