AuthorTopic: Student Finds Exception Clause in the 13th Amend. Slavery Exists, no shit....  (Read 340 times)

Offline azozeo

  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 9741
    • View Profile

Student Claims That An Exception Clause In The 13th Amendment Still Permits Slavery, Explains Why

Recently, a Michigan State University student started a twitter thread about an important issue within the American incarceration system. Turns out, the legality of slavery is still up for debate even over a hundred and fifty years after the end of the Civil War. Though the U.S. Constitution was amended to prohibit both slavery and involuntary servitude within the country, it left a loophole to potentially exploit people who are convicted of crimes, roughly 2.3 million Americans.
The 13th Amendment reads “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” And according to Duke’s Undergraduate Law Magazine, this exception makes it clear that incarcerated persons don’t have constitutional rights under the 13th Amendment – they can be compelled to work for as little as $1 an hour.
“What we see after the passage of the 13th Amendment is a couple of different things converging,” Andrea Armstrong, a law professor at Loyola University in New Orleans, told HISTORY. “First, the 13th Amendment text allows for involuntary servitude where convicted of a crime.” At the same time, “black codes” in the south created “new types of offenses, especially attitudinal offenses—not showing proper respect, those types of things.”
Armstrong argues that the 13th Amendment makes an exception for “involuntary servitude,” not “slavery,” and that there are important historical and legal distinctions between the two. However, she says no court has formally dealt with this distinction, and many courts have used to two terms interchangeably. In 1871, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled that a convicted person was “a slave of the State.”
This form of coerced prison labor has its roots in one of the most exploitative labor systems known in American history – the convict lease system. Effectively, states who claimed they were too poor to maintain state convicts within prison walls were allowed to contract their prisoners out to private businesses, planters, and industrialists. Leasing businesses cut down on labor costs; prisons received a handsome profit, and prisoners are forcibly exploited under abusive conditions.
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind


Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
97 Replies
Last post January 09, 2013, 12:17:56 AM
by RE
1 Replies
Last post August 18, 2013, 05:04:15 PM
by agelbert
27 Replies
Last post December 28, 2015, 03:31:22 AM
by g