The thirteenth amendment states: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."
The thirteenth amendment was passed by Congress on January 31, 1865. But not ratified until December 6th, 1865, exactly eight months after the civil war ended. Although, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, the people seen it as a brief fix. President Lincoln freed slaves, but he did not abolish slavery as a whole.
In between the years 1863 and 1864 there were two bills that were sent to the House and Senate proposing similar ideas about abolishing slavery.…show more content… Bailey agreed to work for the company for a year, making twelve dollars a month. After working there for a little over a month, Bailey decided to quit and he kept the fifteen dollars that they had paid him in advanced. Bailey not returning the extra money he was paid, made the issue recognizable. Though he was given the money prior to completing the full month of work, there’s a possibility he may have broken a few laws.
According to the Alabama law, it was a crime he committed. To get out of becoming a criminal for this type of “crime”, you were forced to work until your debt was paid off. Therefore, Bailey was considered a fraud and was convicted and sentenced to jail for 136 days of hard labor under the Alabama peonage law. Peonage is technically a debt slave, meaning you work until you completely pay off any debt you have.
The court ended the debate by saying that the failure to pay the debt was found to be invalid, meaning that there was no existing evidence. He wasn’t fined for the crime of keeping the money.
In conclusion, the peonage laws of Alabama were recognized to be conflicting and violating to the 13th amendment of the constitution and therefore it was unconstitutional. The case concluded with Bailey found not guilty and escaped from having to work off the