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Justice delayed : the record of the Japanese American internment cases

Author: Peter H Irons
Publisher: Middleton, Conn. : Wesleyan University Press, 1989.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Summary:
More than 120,000 people, most of them native-born American citizens, were forced by military order into concentration camps -- the government called them "relocation centers"--After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Inmates of these camps, hidden in deserts and swamps from California to Arkansas, spent an average of three years behind barbed wire fences. Not one of the Japanese Americans sentenced to years of
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Peter H Irons
ISBN: 0819551686 9780819551689 0819561754 9780819561756
OCLC Number: 18381134
Description: xi, 436 pages ; 25 cm
Responsibility: edited and with an introduction by Peter Irons.

Abstract:

More than 120,000 people, most of them native-born American citizens, were forced by military order into concentration camps -- the government called them "relocation centers"--After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Inmates of these camps, hidden in deserts and swamps from California to Arkansas, spent an average of three years behind barbed wire fences. Not one of the Japanese Americans sentenced to years of barren exile had been charged with any crime, given the right of legal counsel, or offered even the rudiments of due process under the Constitution.

In 1942, at the age of 23, Fred T. Korematsu refused to go to the government’s incarceration camps for Japanese Americans. After he was arrested and convicted of defying the government’s order, he appealed his case all the way to the Supreme Court. In 1944, the Supreme Court ruled against him, arguing that the incarceration was justified due to military necessity. In 1983, Prof. Peter Irons, a legal historian, together with researcher Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga, discovered key documents that government intelligence agencies had hidden from the Supreme Court in 1944. The documents consistently showed that Japanese Americans had committed no acts of treason to justify mass incarceration. With this new evidence, a pro-bono legal team that included the Asian Law Caucus re-opened Korematsu’s 40-year-old case on the basis of government misconduct. On November 10, 1983, Korematsu’s conviction was overturned in a federal court in San Francisco. It was a pivotal moment in civil rights history.

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