Appellate Review

federal-circuitCraig Manson at GeneaBlogie has a new and interesting project, the Historical Appellate Review Project:

You’ve heard the story that Great-Uncle Festus was a no-good horse thief. But was he really? Did he get a fair trial? Did he have a good lawyer or even a lawyer at all? Can his name be cleared all these decades later? We might be able to help!

HARP, the Historical Appellate Review Project, is dedicated to setting the record straight. Using state-of-the-art genealogical and legal research procedures, HARP will investigate your family’s alleged black sheep and let you know if their names might be cleared! In certain cases, we even may be able to go to court and get the official record changed!

I think immediately of great great grandpa Wilford Luce, sentenced in 1862 to a year in prison for his part in an assault of Utah Territorial Governor John Dawson, and Wilford’s brother Jason Luce, executed in 1864 for killing a man in a knife fight. I’ve been told by various folks that both of them were eventually pardoned. I got a copy of the executive order releasing Wilford Luce from prison in December 1862, but I haven’t verified Uncle Jason’s pardon. Maybe it’s time to wrap up that detail.

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