The Hawaii Smith Act Case of 1951: An Examination of the Japanese Response

Date
2014-09-26
Authors
Enomoto, Ernestine
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract
On June 19, 1953, after deliberating sixteen hours on evidence presented in the Hawaii Smith Act case of Communist conspiracy, the jury found all seven defendants guilty of teaching or advocating the violent overthrow of the United States government. Charged were Jack W. Hall, regional director of the International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union (ILWU); Dwight James Freeman, a construction worker; Charles K. Fujimoto, acknowledged Communist Party Chairman; his wife, Eileen Fujimoto; Koji Ariyoshi, editor of the Honolulu Record, a worker-oriented weekly newspaper; Jack D. Kimoto, an employee on the Record; and Dr. John E. Reinecke, a former school teacher. Of the evidence presented to the jury, there were no citations of criminal violations nor of statements made by any of the defendants advocating violent acts of conspiracy. None of the accusations presented in the indictment were demonstrably proven to be conspiring. Three of the twelve witnesses called by the prosecution were discredited for perjurous testimony. Two were shown to have given false statements. Contradictions were cited in the testimonies of two others. As the prosecution emphasized, however, the fact that all seven were Communists could not be denied. Apparently this constituted sufficient proof to convict the defendants as charged.
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