A Conversation on the Lynching of Ed Johnson and United States v. Shipp: The Honorable Curtis Collier and Jim Duff
The Supreme Court Historical Society will commemorate Juneteenth with an important conversation on the lynching of Ed Johnson in 1906 and United States v. Shipp with Judge Curtis Collier and the Society’s Executive Director, Jim Duff.
On March 19, 1906, Ed Johnson, a young Black man, was murdered by a lynch mob in his home town of Chattanooga, Tennessee. He had been sentenced to death for the rape of a white woman Nevada Taylor, but Justice John Marshall Harlan of the United States Supreme Court had issued a stay of execution. To prevent delay or avoidance of execution, a mob broke into the jail where Johnson was held, and abducted and lynched him from the Walnut Street Bridge.
Following the lynching, the Supreme Court served as a criminal trial court in the contempt of court hearing of the sheriff, Joseph F. Shipp, who had allowed Johnson to be removed from the jail.
Curtis Collier is a senior United States district judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. He was nominated by President Bill Clinton on February 13, 1995. He was confirmed by the Senate on May 8, 1995, and received his commission on May 10, 1995. He served as chief judge from 2005 to 2012. He assumed senior status on October 31, 2014.