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 (1:33)
Could It Happen Again?

The crime here was the commutation of the sentences, and the manifest unfairness of that is something that we would protest. We would call for the governor's dismissal on those grounds. The fact of the matter is that the judiciary did their job and it's important to let a judiciary do its job. It's important to allow the process, which has been set up to treat defendants fairly and equally. It's important to let them do their job. The person who didn't do his job was the governor, Lawrence Judd. And that would need to be, that would be something that would outrage us and make us very angry and certainly angry enough to march on the governor's offices.

Having said all of that, it's also important to recognize that the atmosphere that allowed Kahahawai to be abducted and shot to death is something that we can never -- we can never -- allow to happen here again. The notion or the sense that justice can be pursued by a group of people because they know more, or they're better situated because of their race to adjudicate such matters, is something that can never be stomached by any kind of civilized society.

The Massie Affair American Experience PBS