People v. Hall

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The People of the State of California v. George W. Hall or People v. Hall was an appealed murder case in the 1850s in which the California Supreme Court established that Chinese Americans and Chinese immigrants had no rights to testify against white citizens. The opinion was delivered in 1854 by Chief Justice Hugh Murray with the concurrence of Justice J. Heydenfeldt.

The ruling effectively freed Hall, a white man, who had been convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Ling Sing, a Chinese miner in Nevada County. Three Chinese witnesses had testified to the killing.

The ruling was an odd extension of California Criminal Procedure's existing (1850) exclusion, "No black or mulatto person, or Indian, shall be allowed to give evidence in favor of, or against a white man." It was held that either "Indian" denoted anyone of the Mongoloid race or that "black" applied to anyone not white.

The ruling effectively made white violence against Chinese Americans unprosecutable, arguably leading to more intense white-on-Chinese race riots, such as the 1877 San Francisco riot.

See also[edit]

Racism in the United States

External links[edit]