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% In April 1932, as the jury deliberated the fate of Joseph Kahahawai's murderers, a confrontation between Honolulu's Naval population and its long-term residents was brewing.

The U.S. Navy had already threatened boycotts against the jurors and the businesses that employed them, in the event of a conviction. The Honolulu police were mounting machine guns on their patrol cars, and planning tactics to control unrest.

After 48 hours of deliberation, the jury returned to the courtroom to deliver its verdict: guilty. The four defendants, Grace Hubbard Fortescue, Thomas H. Massie, Albert Jones, and Edward Lord, were sentenced to ten years at hard labor.

"What a surprise," writer Haunani-Kay Trask says about the guilty verdict. "There was so much pressure not to convict. So much threat that there would be martial law."

But the case had a last-minute twist. The Navy, the U.S. Congress, newspapers and the public all reacted with outrage. More than a hundred Congressmen signed a petition demanding that Territorial Governor Lawrence Judd pardon each of the four defendants, or else Hawai'i's self government would end. Under the pressure, Judd commuted the sentences to one hour.

Do you think Governor Judd was right to commute the sentences?

Do you think Governor Judd was right to commute the sentences?

 

Yes, he had to do it to keep the peace.

No, he had no right to interfere with a judicial decision.

 
 
Did you watch the film, "The Massie Affair"?
(Please vote "yes" if you watched at least half of the film.)
 

Yes

No

 

If yes, did it influence your answers?

 

Yes

No


I do not wish to vote but would like to see the current results

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