Posts Tagged ‘consigns’

Frederick Douglass: Judge Gets 10 Dollars

Posted by admin on Thursday, July 13, 2017

Frederick Douglass Money Quote saying Fugitive Slave Law in mid 19th Century made it profitable for judges to decide against slaves and for owners. Frederick Douglass said:
 
The Fugitive Slave Law makes mercy to them a crime; and bribes the judge who tries them. An American judge gets ten dollars consigns to slavery Quote
 

“The Fugitive Slave Law makes mercy to them a crime; and bribes the judge who tries them. An American judge gets ten dollars for every victim he consigns to slavery, and five, when he fails to do so” — Frederick Douglass

 

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In this quote, Frederick Douglass is strongly criticizing the Fugitive Slave Law and its unjust provisions. He suggests it perverted the justice system by incentivizing judges financially to rule in favor of slave owners claiming fugitive slaves.

Douglass implies the law effectively bribed judges to rule against escaped slaves by paying them $10 for each person returned to slavery, but only $5 if the claim of the slave owner was denied.

The quote highlights Douglass’ view that this perverted the concept of a fair trial, as judges had a monetary stake in the slave owner’s interests over showing mercy to fugitive slaves. He saw it as a corrupt system that made an impartial hearing denied to escaped slaves seeking freedom.

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