An expose of unjust treatment of Negro troops in courtsmartial in Korea was the subject of Thurgood Marshall's speech last night in Langdell Courtroom at the Law Forum's first spring Legal Forum. Marshall is chief counsel for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Marshall, returning from an investigation in Korea, denounced the Army's policy of segregation and held up the Navy and Air Force policies as successful examples of integration of white and Negro troops. He traced injustice in the trials to Negro segregation.
In the 24th division of the Eighth Army, including the all-Negro 25th Regiment, he cited that the ratio of Negro to white troops is one to 3.7. Out of 118 complaints, 54 Negroes and 27 whites were arraigned. Of these, 32 Negroes and only two whites were convicted for cowardice, yet the records show no such disparity in the fighting performance of the troops.
Marshall charged that the courtsmartial are made up entirely of whites, the trials are hold in the heat of battle close to the lines, and the accused does not have the choice of counsel.