Hale v. Kentucky

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Hale v. Kentucky
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued March 29, 1938
Decided April 11, 1938
Full case name Joe Hale v. Commonwealth of Kentucky
Citations 303 U.S. 613 (more)
58 S.Ct. 753; 82 L.Ed. 1050
Subsequent history Reversed and remanded.
The equal protection of the laws guaranteed to petitioner by the Fourteenth Amendment had been denied.
Court membership
Chief Justice
Charles E. Hughes
Associate Justices
James C. McReynolds · Louis Brandeis
George Sutherland · Pierce Butler
Harlan F. Stone · Owen J. Roberts
Benjamin N. Cardozo · Hugo Black
Case opinions
Per curiam.
Cardozo took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.

Hale v. Kentucky, 303 U.S. 613 (1938), was a United States Supreme Court case relating to racial discrimination in the selection of juries for criminal trials. The case overturned the conviction of an African American man accused of murder because the lower court of Kentucky had systematically excluded African Americans from serving on the jury in the case.[1] NAACP counsel, including Charles H. Houston, Leon A. Ransom and Thurgood Marshall, represented Hale.[1]


Joe Hale, an African American, had been convicted in McCracken County, Kentucky. No African Americans were selected as jury members within the previous 50 years although nearly 7,000 were eligible for jury service.[1]

Opinion of the Court[edit]

The court unanimously ruled that the plaintiff's civil rights had been violated.[1]


Hale v. Kentucky was one in a series of cases where the Supreme Court overturned convictions of blacks for reason of discrimination in jury selections in the lower courts.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Encyclopedia". The History of Jim Crow. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Jefferson, B. S. (1939). "Race Discrimination in Jury Service". Boston University Law Review. 19: 413. ISSN 0006-8047. 
  • See a picture of the NAACP Legal Team 1933 including Ransom, professor at the Howard Law School, at "A Century of Racial Segregation, 1849-1950" in the Library of Congress exhibition, "With an Even Hand": Brown v. Board at Fifty. Accessed December 29, 2010. www.loc.gov/exhibits/brown/brown-segregation.html.

External links[edit]