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RFK Highlights Legal Inequities

May 24, 1964 - Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy said tonight “there is not equal justice under the law in the United States” because poor persons did not stand as good a chance of being found innocent as wealthy defendants.

“If you follow the poor person who is accused of a crime, his chances of being acquitted are much less than are the chances of a wealthy person who can afford bail and his own counsel,” Kennedy said in a television interview on the show, “Opinion in the Capital.”

He said that each year thousands of persons who could not afford bail spent months in jail awaiting trial only to be acquitted or found innocent.

“The individual who is part of a gang or part of an organized racket can always get bail,” Kennedy declared.

He said he has called a conference of state, local, and Federal court officials in Washington later this month to discuss the problem.

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