Raymond Caballero with Steve Bender
Historian Raymond Caballero speaks today about a key Supreme Court decision pertaining to events set during the McCarthy “Red Scare” era. Clinton Jencks, a decorated war hero who worked with Mexican Americans fighting for equal rights in New Mexico’s mining industry, was arrested and charged with “falsely denying” that he was a Communist. A leader of the Empire Zinc strike, in which wives and mothers replaced strikers on the picket line after an injunction barred the miners themselves, Jencks was sentenced to five years in prison. In Jencks v. United States (1957), the U.S. Supreme Court overturned his conviction in a landmark decision that mandated providing to an accused person previously hidden witness statements, thereby making cross-examination truly effective. In his book, McCarthyism vs. Clinton Jencks (University of Oklahoma Press), Raymond Caballero reveals for the first time that the FBI and the prosecution knew all along that Clinton Jencks was innocent. Jencks's case typified the era, exposing the injustice that many suffered at the hands of McCarthyism. Raymond Caballero will appear in conversation with Steve Bender, Associate Dean at Seattle University School of Law.