Recommended to the mercy.
by Lisa Y. Henderson
SENTENCED TO BE HANGED. — At Wake Superior Court last week, John Locklear, a free negro, convicted of burglary, was sentenced to be hanged on the 16th of May, but was recommended to the mercy of the Governor by the Jury and the members of the Bar.
Asheville News, 1 May 1856.
Somehow this does not seem like “equal justice” under the law. Would the governor have to give clemency to a white man for such a crime. No, i doubt it for the simple reason a white man would not get the death penalty for burglary.
Unfortunately, there was not even a pretense of equal justice in that era.