|Victor Saymo, an aspiring writer and poet from Keaau, HI
||Brian Roberts, an economist from Arlington, VA
||Buzzy Cohen, a music executive from Los Angeles, CA (6-day total: $121,202)
Scores going into Final Jeopardy:
Final Jeopardy! category: 19TH CENTURY NOTABLES
Final Jeopardy! clue: He died in New Orleans on Dec. 6, 1889, a little over 20 years after his treason case had been dropped
Who is Jefferson Davis? (Victor went for “Beauregard”; Buzzy said “You aren’t rid of me yet, Trebek”)
Brian 4000 + 1001 = 5001
Victor 5000 – 5000 = 0
Buzzy 12200 – 0 = 12200 (7-day total: $133,402)
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Davis was captured by troops and held at a military base (Fort Monroe) in a state (Virginia) under martial law. Had he been linked to the Lincoln assassination, his trial would have taken place before a military tribunal, but the fabricated case connecting him to the assassination (the primary informant was convicted of perjury) fell apart before Davis was charged. The government soon decided that any trial for treason would have to be in a civil court, and in Virginia, the base of Davis’ alleged treasonable activities, directing armed rebellion against the United States. Neither John C. Underwood, circuit court judge for the District of Virginia, nor Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, who presided over the circuit including the Virginia district, felt he had any authority as long as Davis was held by the military. Chase in particular wanted to avoid such dangerous legal waters, and he continued to find excuses to avoid hearing the case.
In an unusual twist, Chase made known to Davis’ attorneys, a distinguished group of northern and southern litigators, his opinion that the third section of the 14th Amendment nullified the indictment against Davis. His contention was that by stripping the right to vote from high Confederate officials, a punishment for treasonable activities had been legislated, so Davis could not be punished again for the same crime.
…the indictment technically remained pending, but there would be no more action taken. It was clear that Chase would favor overturning a guilty verdict, making the government hesitant to proceed. The Davis case remained on the circuit court docket for February 15, 1869, but the government indicated at that time that it would not prosecute (nolle prosequi).
(contestant photo credit: jeopardy.com)
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