In Greenville, South Carolina, an all-white jury of 12 men acquits 28 whites who had been charged with beating, slashing, and shooting Willie Earle, a black man.
Earle had been jailed as a suspect in the murder of taxi driver T.W. Brown; one night later on February 21, a mob consisting mostly of other taxi drivers appeared at the jail, dragged Willie Earle out, and murdered him.
The prosecution provided signed admissions by 26 of the defendants of their participation in the murder as well as eyewitness testimony that Roosevelt Carlos Hurd had fired the fatal shotgun blasts which blew off part of Earle's head. No defense was offered on behalf of the accused and no attempt was made to contradict any of the prosecution evidence.
Instead, defense attorney Benjamin Bolt simply appealed to the sentiments of the jury, asking them to show the FBI and other northerners that "it's no use meddling in Greenville County." He even refers to the victim as "a mad dog" and shouts "Willie Earle is a dead and I wish more like him were dead!"
After the verdict is read, Circuit Judge J. Robert Martin, Jr., refrains from offering the jury the customary thanks for their service and simply dismisses them. For years, southern Senators in Washington, D.C., have filibustered every time an anti-lynching law is introduced. They argue that it's offensive to the South to suggest that such a law is needed, and that southern states don't need such federal oversight or interference.