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Reminiscences of an Active LifeThe Autobiography of John Roy Lynch$
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John Roy Lynch and John Hope Franklin

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781604731149

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2021

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604731149.001.0001

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Justice of the Peace

Justice of the Peace

(p.59) 8 Justice of the Peace
Reminiscences of an Active Life

John Roy Lynch

, John Hope Franklin
University Press of Mississippi

This chapter describes John Roy Lynch's experiences as a justice of the peace. A justice of the peace at that time had original jurisdiction in all civil cases where the amount in controversy did not exceed three hundred dollars. In criminal cases he had jurisdiction concurrent with the county court in all cases below the grade of felony, and in felonious and capital cases he could sit as a committing magistrate, examine the witnesses, and decide whether or not the testimony was sufficient to bind the accused over to the next grand jury, with or without bail, to fix the amount and accept or reject such bondsmen as might be offered. While his decision was not final and therefore not a bar to further action by a higher court, it had, nevertheless, an important bearing upon any subsequent action that might be taken. To have a young and inexperienced colored man placed in charge of such an important office was looked upon by many, even of his warmest personal friends, with serious misgivings. But after several months had passed these misgivings had entirely disappeared.

Keywords:   John Roy Lynch, justice of the peace, jurisdiction, civil cases, criminal cases, capital cases, colored man, felonious cases

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