American Experience
Hawai'ians Remember Hawai'ians Remember

video | transcript

Grieving for Joe KahahawaiStories About the Massie CaseFear of the MilitaryPrejudice in the Haole CommunityThe Case's Impact on Hawai'iansAssessing the JuryCould It Happen Again?Racial TensionsA Threat to StatehoodInjustices Today

Jon Osorio (1:11)
Assessing the Jury

When you get down to how these young men could have been in Leilehua at one point, on Leilehua Street and there around Ala Moana, in and around the same time, just the pure circumstances of it, seems to indicate that they certainly were not guilty.

The other thing is the fact that she was not able to identify them when she first reported it and then after seeing their car in the parking lot at the police department where she was brought and then reporting that that was the license plate. This has led the defense attorneys in the case to point out that they were probably not guilty. There were really good reasons for the jury not to convict in 1931 and they followed their impulses.

The whole question for the Americans at the time and the haole community was whether or not they had actually done their job as a jury. And as we look at it today, it certainly appears as though they did.

The Massie Affair American Experience PBS