On March 24, 1988, six Black children were arrested around 1:00 am, and charged as juvenile deliquents in Gadsden, Ala. for allegedly attempting to break into a department store.
These children were taken to the police station and interrogated for appx. 4 hours by a group of appx. 4 to 6 white police officers. At no point during this interrogation were their parents contacted. There were no attorneys present. When interrogation ended several hours later, the Gadsden 6 were charged with over 30 felony charges for burglary and theft.
A few hours later that same morning of March 24, 1988, the GADSDEN 6 were taken to an initial appearance hearing that suddenly turned into a detention hearing. The GADSDEN 6 was still without parent or attorneys.
At the detention hearing, the GADSDEN 6 were surrounded by appx. 6 white police officers, two white juvenile officers, and a white prosecutor. The record shows that probable cause was stipultaed to on all 30 charges.
Probable cause means that there is reasonable to believe that a crime has been committed and that the defendant committed it. This fact was stipultaed to on all 30 charges.
But STIPULTAED to by who??
The GADSDEN 6 were all children. None of them had attorneys and none of their parents were present. There were only 6 Black children and appx 10 white men present. Who stipulated for the GADSDEN 6 to 30 felony charges on the same day of their arrest ? Children cannot stipulate to anything without counsel and / or their parents present.
The record shows that an attorney was not appointed up April 6, 1988, two weeks AFTER the stipulation was entered.
These cases were subsequently transferred to adult court without a hearing, where the GADSDEN 6 were convicted of adikt charges At least 3 GADSDEN 6 members suffered 4 or more convictions each, rendering all of them eligible for treatment as a habitual offender and subject to a sentence of life or life without parole if they ever charged with another felony offense.
All of the convictions imposed against the GADSDEN 6 are illegal because they were not represented by counsel or parents at all critical.
Join the call for Justice for the GADSDEN 6.
a) Full Pardons
b) Expungement of all records