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Report on Result of Turning over to Civil Authorities Jurisdiction in Criminal Cases - 

Bu. R. F. and A. Lands 
Hd Qurs. 2d Division, 4th Sub Dist, Va.
Goochland C. H. Va. May 31-1868.


The quarterly or grand jury session of the criminal courts for the Counties of Goochland and Fluvanna having been held during this month, I have had a better opportunity for observing the the manner in which what is called justice is administered to the freedmen, than I have before enjoyed. The conclusion to which I have come is this -- that where the evidence is inconclusive, and juries cannot under their oaths convict according to law, the accused will generally be discharged unless some white man is anxious for conviction, and presses the case through. The discharge, however, takes place without trial. In no case that has been before a jury has an acquittal followed. With the Court at Goochland I have not much fault to find, except when proceedings are instituted against white men by the freedmen. In such cases the Court is slow to act, and permit the case to be continued upon frivolous pretexts. 

The great evil to be complained of is the course taken by magistrates in the various Districts in sending up to the County Court little petty cases, in which they have, and should take jurisdiction. Finding there were a large number of such cases on the Court docket, and that the freedmen who had been sent up were here with their witnesses, some of whom had been in attendance several times, without getting the case to trial, I took the liberty of calling the attention of the Presiding magistrate to the evil of keeping these people away from their work, term after term, and he agreed that 

Transcription Notes:
Not sure if there is a period/dot after "Va" at the top. Not sure if the location is Cove Island or another place; having trouble reading it. [[convied?]] in brackets - I believe this is supposed to be spelled as conveyed. proecedings - could have read spelling wrong, but it should be proceedings ---------- Reopened for Editing 2024-05-13 10:10:49.