The Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee (formerly the Citizen's Committee for the Defense of Mexican American Youth) formed in
1942 in reaction to the indictment of 22 young men for murder. 12 defendants were convicted of first degree murder. The Sleepy
Lagoon Defense Committee raised funds to appeal the case and roused public opinion through education and publicity programs.
In 1944 the original judgment was overturned. The collection contains correspondence, publications, publicity materials, radio
scripts, office records, a transcript of the Sleepy Lagoon trial, and research materials including articles about Mexicans
and Mexican Americans in Los Angeles. Portions of the collection are in Spanish.
The Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee (first known as the Citizens' Committee for the Defense of Mexican American Youth) was
organized in October 1942 in response to the indictment of 22 young men for murder; all defendants but one were Mexican American;
12 defendants were convicted of first degree murder by Superior Court of Los Angeles County; Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee
raised funds for the appeal of the case and roused public opinion through education and publicity programs; judgments and
decisions of the lower court were reversed by the District Court of Appeal of the state of California, 2nd Appellate District,
October 4, 1944.In August 1942, 22 defendants, all Mexican Americans but one, were indicted by the grand jury of Los Angeles county for the
murder of José Diaz, whose death occurred at a party on the Williams ranch in the city of Los Angeles near a little pond called
the Sleepy Lagoon. 12 were convicted of first degree murder by the Superior Court of Los Angeles County; the case was appealed
to the District Court of Appeal of the state of California, 2nd Appellate District, where the judgments and decisions of the
lower court were reversed (October 4, 1944).
11 boxes (5.5 linear ft.)
2 oversize boxes
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