How Buck vs. Bell began, Paul Lombardo
Interviewee: Paul Lombardo. Amherst County Courthouse was the first step of a legal case that would lead all the way to the Supreme Court. (DNAi Location: Chronicle > Trial of carrie buck > Trial > Amherst County Courthouse)
The building behind me is the county courthouse in the village of Amherst, Virginia. It was the site of the now infamous trial in the case of Buck vs. Bell. The Buck in this case was Carrie Buck, the young girl from Charlottesville who would eventually be sterilized, and John Bell, the doctor from the Virginia Colony for the Epileptic and the Feebleminded, who performed the operation. This trial was the first step in the long road that ended up in the United States Supreme Court, with the constitutionality of Virginia's law being established at that high level.
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Paul Lombardo discusses the initial trial in Amherst County, Viriginia, which set the stage for taking the issue of eugenic sterilization to the Supreme Court.
Buck vs. Bell Supreme Court Decision
Paul Lombardo talks about the case conluded that Carrie, Emma, and Vivian represented three generations of imbeciles, which justified Carrie's sterilization.
mma and Carrie Buck were committed to the Virginia Colony because they were unmarried mothers and were considered morally delinquent.
11301. A. Strode letter to H. Laughlin, requesting a deposition on hereditary feeblmindedness for the trial of Carrie Buck in Amherst, Virginia (9/30/1924)
A. Strode letter to H. Laughlin, requesting a deposition on hereditary feeblmindedness for the trial of Carrie Buck in Amherst, Virginia (9/30/1924)
Irving Whitehead was the lawyer appointed to represent Carrie Buck at the trial in Amherst County. Whitehead betrayed Carrie, colluding with his supposed adversary, Aubrey Strode, presenting no witnesses, and doing only a minimal job of cross examination.
Aubrey Strode was the lawyer who wrote the Virginia statute that became the sterilization law.
12190. "The Progress of Eugenical Sterilization," by Paul Popenoe, Journal of Heredity (vol. 25:1), including journal cover and contents page (5)
"The Progress of Eugenical Sterilization," by Paul Popenoe, Journal of Heredity (vol. 25:1), including journal cover and contents page (5)
Virginia Sterilization Act. Source: Paul Lombardo, University of Virginia.
Paul Lombardo talks about the historical significance of Buck vs. Bell.